A YOUTH project which aims to bring the best of Bolton Lads and Girls Club to Westhoughton has officially opened.

Youngsters can now take advantage of the facilities at the Westhoughton Youth Project, which is based in the former Westhoughton Primary School building in Central Drive.

Work started on the building in September, and it is unrecognisable from when bosses first took over the site.

Carly Brown, operations manager at Bolton Lads and Girls Club, said: "It is absolutely amazing in comparison to what it was like when we first moved in. At first we had parquet flooring which was barely connected to the floor. The ceiling needed work too.

"Now we have finished and it looks great, it is great to see it all completed."

The building now has a games room with a Playstation, an arts and craft room, a chill out area and a main hall, featuring table tennis, a pool table and air hockey.

Last minute preparations continued yesterday as staff hurriedly emptied gym equipment from its packaging in time for the official launch.

The club held its first evening for senior members aged 13-19 last night, and it will be the turn of the juniors, aged eight to 12, tonight.

It is hoped that the Westhoughton site will become the first of many 'satellite' clubs offering similar services to Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

Miss Brown, who has helped to oversee the project which has received support from businesses, Bolton Council and volunteers, said it will address a need for young people in the town.

She said: "There really is a need for this in Westhoughton. There are groups of young people out there, not causing trouble, but with nothing to do in the evening, so hopefully this will give them something to do.

"It is about young people getting together in a safe place, making friends and having fun."

The club is offering free membership throughout January, which usually costs £3.

Seniors sessions are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6pm to 9pm, and juniors are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 8.30pm. Admission costs 50p.