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New £8m centre for young people gets go ahead

4th March 2009

The Government today announced that Blackburn town centre has been successful in its bid for funding to build the state-of-the-art facility for young people, beating off competition from towns across the country.


The new youth centre, will be based in Blackburn’s Cathedral Quarter and will be modelled on the well established and highly successful Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

An artist impression of the new centre shows a three storey building complete with a fantastic football pitch on the roof. There will be a full size sports hall and variety of rooms and open-plan areas to provide an extensive range of sporting, artistic, cultural, physical and recreational activities and opportunities for local children and young people. 

It is proposed that the centre will be open 52 weeks a year from 3pm to 10pm during the week and 9am to 10pm on weekends.
Young people will be involved in all aspects of the development of the centre and how it will be run.


Councillor Mike Lee, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the borough. This is a major investment in our young people and I would encourage all parents to ensure that their children seize the chance to benefit from this fabulous facility. For years, people have complained there are not enough non-commercial facilities for our young people in the centre of town, and now through this new facility we have the chance to make a real difference to the lives of thousands.”


Councillor Chris Thayne, executive member for children’s services, said: “What an exciting time for young people in the borough. Never before will they have had access to such tremendous opportunities. More than 3,000 young people attend Bolton Lads and Girls Club every week – rather than hanging round on the streets, they are given support and the chance to try exciting new things, building both their skills and their confidence, in preparation for the world of work or further education.”


Councillor Colin Rigby, executive member for resources, said: “This is a major investment and a clear statement that we want to provide the very best for our young people. This will be a very different Youth Club. The facilities will be world class, it will be open whenever schools are closed and with a nominal entry fee of just 50p everyone will be able to get involved.”


Paul Baker from Thwaites Brewery who is chairman of the board, said: “I would urge businesses in the community to come forward and support the new youth centre. The skills, confidence and knowledge that the young people will gain from being involved with the club, they will bring to local employers in the future.”


A planning application for the new centre is expected to be submitted later this year.


Blackburn with Darwen Council will meet 40 per cent of the annual running costs of the new centre but like the Bolton Club, the rest will have to be raised from private sector support, grants, donations and charging young people a small fee to use the club.


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