YOUNGSTERS are flocking to a Bolton youth centre after it had a £100,000 makeover.
Leverhulme Young People’s Centre, in Long Lane, Darcy Lever, has been revamped in a bid to attract more young people to get them off the streets.
Teenagers aged from 13 to 19 are now attending the centre on Mondays and Thursdays to play computer games and challenge each other at ping pong and pool, as well as talk about issues over a brew at the new coffee bar.
The centre also runs projects and activities for youngsters.
Bolton Council has funded the project and youth worker Cheryl McIver has already seen a difference since the new-look centre reopened two weeks ago.
She said: “It is lovely to see more and more young people coming to the youth club.
“They really seem to like what has been done, not just things like the pool table but they are really enjoying the new coffee bar, because it gives them a safe environment to come and talk about any issues they may have.”
The makeover has got the thumbs-up from the most important judges, the young people who are using it.
Bobbie-Leigh Tyldesley, aged 14, from Darcy Lever, said: “I think it’s great and I come here every Monday and Thursday. It’s good because I live just around the corner.”
Niko Russell, aged 15, added: “I really like the kitchen. It is good that we can have a coffee.
“My favourite things are the ping-pong table and the fact we can make ourselves a brew.”
Cllr Anthony Connell, Bolton Council’s cabinet member for sport, libraries, youth and culture, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of the new centre.
He said: “We have counted 30 young people in here; before the work there were usually about 15 coming in.
“This is a terrific place for the youngsters to hang out and given the cuts to local services it is great that we are able to provide a youth centre of this high standard.”
He was joined at the centre by ward councillors Kate Lewis and John and Lynda Byrne.