A NEW cultural centre will host this weekend's Bongs Arts and Music Festival.

Housed in the new Tyldesley Arts and Music Centre, Cadence Arts Café in Chapel Street it's the brainchild of proud Tyldesleyite Ian Jackson who has been a major influence behind the town's recent annual Cadence music festivals.

Centre directors of the Community Interest Company behind the festival are already working in partnership with Fred Longworth High School.

Ian said: "Plans are underway to create an opportunity for students to follow a concrete pathway from their exams or high school performances to a more varied, out-of-school platform.

"This will bridge the gap between young artists of audience-ready students into the "real world" of live performance, audience participation, responses and feedback."

A key role in this new relationship between Freddies, the Nowt2Do Project and the professional world via a CIC venue outside school, is that of school based policeman PC Andy Wright. promoter of the acclaimed Nowt2Do project in Tyldesley, Atherton, Leigh and Lowton.

Wayne Reedman, Vice Chair of Leigh Sports Trust, said: "This initiative, devised by Ian, supported by school and out of school clubs in N2D has so much potential.

"This venue's ideology harks back to the days of the 1950s' coffee bars.

"Ian has done brilliantly to provide a platform for young people but we need the business community to get involved and support it."

The Festival runs from 7pm on Friday (Feb 15) to 7pm Sunday (Feb 17). Features include performing arts, creative writing, monologues and scripts, urban photography scenes, plus bands Standing Room Only, The Drive, Ford and The Shouts plus Purge.

Sunday is devoted to film with a series of short and feature films from local producers as part of Leigh Arts, Film & Television Association's first film festival.

Leigh based NagNag Productions will screen "Echoes" and local writer and producer, Wayne Reedman will show "Script-to-Screen" and "The Factory Act" both shot in and around Leigh.