MANY hands are expecting to make light work as a project bringing to life the Westhoughton Youth Project begins.

Volunteers are getting stuck in as work starts on the new centre for the Bolton Lads and Girls Club (BLGC).

The project's patrons, local businesses and Westhoughton residents are leading the redevelopment of part of the old primary school in Central Drive.

Kellie McGarry of Westhoughton Active Communities Organisation (WACO) rallied residents, including her 68-year-old father Tony, to lend a hand as work started yesterday.

The mum-of-three, from Wigan Road, said she was delighted to see the project get off the ground.

"Everyone has pledge to support it in some way, whether practically or with cash. There has not been one negative reaction," she explained.

"I helped to get a few people together today but there are so many people in Westhoughton getting behind it, it's such a close knit community.

"This is one of the best things to happen in Westhoughton in a long time."

Miss McGarry has come on board as a project patron alongside Chris Houghton of Eventura, Justine Brooks and Mathew Bewley of 3B Training.

The Westhoughton business had three employees picking up tools to help out yesterday with the first phase of the work, which included clearing the grounds.

Mr Bewley added: "It's great to see local residents get behind the project and local companies get involved. We need them in order to make it a success.

"This is my third or fourth time here and it's great to see the working getting off the ground.

"This place will not just be a youth centre, it's all the extra elements like the mentoring and apprenticeship services."

Mr Bewley has been helping to get other companies on board, including Keepmoat Regeneration from Salford Keys which has brought its apprentices onboard the tight-knit group of workers.

The new youth centre came about as a result of club's outreach work across Bolton.

More than £75,000 is being invested in the conversion, which will include refitting the interior of the dilapidated former classrooms.

It is hoped the work will be completed in a couple of months, with an official opening taking place in November or December.

BLGC is also keen to get further support, through both volunteering and fundraising, from businesses and residents.

Anyone interested in getting board the project is asked to contact Karen Openshaw at