Croydon's multi-million pound "youth centre of dreams” opened last weekend with thousands of members already signing up.

Legacy, on Whitehorse Road, offers young people aged between eight and 19, or 25 for those with additional needs, the chance to enjoy more than 20 activities, including an indoor climbing wall, fully equipped gym, music room, recording studio and training kitchen.

Croydon is home to more young people than any other London borough – 93,000 under 18s - and the council has worked alongside national charity OnSide Youth Zones to create a safe and inspiring place for them to enjoy.

Cllr Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: “Croydon’s young people have limitless potential and the new Legacy Youth Zone will help them unlock this.

"By investing in this stunning new Youth Zone, and working with OnSide and all the young people who have worked so hard to make this happen, we are helping them to reach their full potential, by giving them access to new opportunities, new experiences, and a truly amazing place to have fun, make friends.

"Together we are creating a true Legacy for young people in Croydon.”

The £6.5m building was joint funded by Croydon Council, contributing £3.25million, with the remainder sourced by OnSide from a number of founder patrons including the Queen’s Trust, the Stone Family Foundation and The Seroussi Foundation via UBS Optimus Foundation.

Legacy’s annual running costs are supported by many founder patrons – with Croydon Council contributing £300,000 and a group of businesses and philanthropists who have pledged more than £1m per year.

Barnabas Shelbourne, Chief Executive at Legacy Youth Zone said: “Legacy Youth Zone’s official opening day was an incredible day enjoyed by young people, families and the wider community.

"Now open, Legacy belongs to young people, it is a place where they can discover their talent, develop their skills and raise their aspirations.

"I want to say a huge thank-you to all of Legacy’s Capital Funders and Founder Patrons for turning this dream into a reality, giving young people in Croydon somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.”

By paying a £5 membership fee and 50p a visit, young people can make full use of the facilities, as well as mentoring and employability workshops.

It will be open every night after school and at the weekends.