BAE Systems has donated £500,000 to boost Portsmouth’s youth services by creating a new educational facility in Stamshaw.

The donation has been given to Portsmouth City Council for the design, build and fit-out of a new educational space within Stamshaw Adventure Playground, extending the provision of services for young people in the local community.

The adventure playground provides free fun activities for children up to 13 years old. The new facility will offer services primarily aimed at those aged between 14 and 24. During the day, it will offer those not in employment, education or training (NEETs) access to a range of educational services, advice and support from a careers adviser and local experts, including the council’s employability team. In the evening, it will host a youth club offering a wide range of activities.

Councillor Steve Pitt, Leader of Portsmouth City Council with responsibility for economic development, said:

“I am deeply grateful to BAE Systems for its donation to fund the creation of a new youth services facility in Stamshaw and their commitment to help renovate the adventure playground. In an ever-changing world, partnerships with our business community become even more important to help change happen. This new facility will bring enormous benefits to young people in Portsmouth and has the potential to transform lives.”

Jane Lamer, Head of Economic Development and Skills at Portsmouth City Council, said:

“To be able to start planning a new youth facility is a very exciting prospect. This will help us to support more young people and provide opportunities to develop their confidence and boost skills.”

The council is now drawing up plans for the new building. Once the design is agreed, the plans will be submitted for approval. It is anticipated work will start in early 2024.

Scott Jamieson, Managing Director of Maritime Services at BAE Systems, commented:

“We’re committed to the local communities in which we live and work and this is a much needed addition to the provision of services for young people in Stamshaw. Engaging with our young people is so important and this new facility will offer them a safe place to go, someone to talk to, as well as guidance on education and career opportunities. We’re excited to see this project develop in the coming months.”

BAE Systems’ early careers service will also support Portsmouth City Council in providing careers advice at the new facility. Apprentices from the Company are already helping to renovate Stamshaw Adventure Playground to deliver immediate improvements for the local community’s young people.

There are six free adventure playgrounds across Portsmouth. No two sites are the same, with some boasting unique facilities like splash pools, sand pits, arts and crafts, and wood workshops. All the sites are staffed by play workers who can support families and help develop children’s physical and social skills.

To find out more about what’s available for children and young people visit: https://www.pycportsmouth.co.uk/