On Friday 16th March, our Chief Executive Craig Dean and I went along to the VIP launch of Mahdlo, the £5m youth project opening in the centre of Oldham.
From the outside, the Mahdlo building is strikingly contemporary next to the early 19th century Blue Coat School. The Young People’s Development Group has had a lot of influence in the design, inspired by their trip to London. The interior is equally impressive with a white and block coloured theme.
The launch began with a tour of the building revealing conference rooms for training purposes, media rooms, a dance studio, a boxing room, a fully-equipped gym, a common room and a sports hall. The common room featured a huge TV mounted on the wall, every games console you could wish for, pool tables, foosball tables and more! But possibly most impressive was the sports hall, with a huge climbing wall stretching across the back, basketball hoops on the wall and various courts marked out. Our young tour guides informed us that trampolines and a whole range of other sporting equipment would be available for use.
We heard speeches from dignitaries such as businessman and local legend Norman Stoller, Leader of Oldham Council Jim McMahon and Oldham’s Youth Mayor before watching performances by young people.
The future for Mahdlo looks bright! Funding has already been raised for the first few years running costs and at just 50p entry it’s difficult to imagine why any young person would not want to go. Having grown up in Oldham myself, I feel proud that this pioneering youth project is here, and maybe a little jealous that I’m too old to go!