Woking Youth Arts Centre

Completed: 2017
Location: Woking, Surrey
Region: South East
Other local partners: Surrey County Council, The Amber Foundation

About the project

Woking Youth Arts Centre is a music and performing arts space for young people, formerly used as a rehearsal venue by The Spice Girls in the early 1990s. In 2016/17, on behalf of Surrey County Council, VIY ran a project at the council-owned centre to help upgrade its facilities and allow the venue to serve as the new base for a local youth club that had out-grown its former home.

Over ten weeks 25 young people worked together with four VIY trade skills mentors to undertake a series of urgent refurbishment tasks at the centre, including demolishing interior (non-structural) walls to create a larger principal activity space, renovating the toilets/washrooms and kitchen, repairing the studio floor, and redecorating the centre throughout. The young volunteers had no prior trade skills experience and were all referred into the project by The Amber Foundation (who support young people who are unemployed and/or at risk of homelessness). 19 of the young people ultimately achieved a City & Guilds Entry Level 3 trade skills qualification as a result of their participation.

VIY enabled the project for a total cost of £10,000 (funded by Surrey County Council), thanks in large part to Wickes Woking who provided all tools and materials needed for the project at no cost.