A Farnworth firm has been awarded a £2.4m contract from Blackburn with Darwen Council to redevelop two youth hubs.

Seddon Construction provided the authority with the most advantageous tender for redevelopments to Audley and Queen’s Children’s Centre and Darwen Youth Centre.

The total cost of the two projects is expected to be £4.58m financed by grants from the government's Youth Investment Fund (YIF) managed by the Social Investment Business (SIB).

A report announcing Seddon as the preferred principal contractor for the redevelopment of Audley and Queen’s Park Children’s Centre and Darwen Youth Centre has been published by the council's Strategic Director of Growth and Development Martin Kelly.

He says the contract is expected to be worth a total of 2.4m.

It says: "Established in August 2022 the YIF is a £300m national pot of grant funding awarded by government.

"The aim of the fund is to provide significant funding opportunities for the out-of-school youth sector in Levelling Up priority areas, including Blackburn with Darwen.

"The YIF is designed to enable the improvement and / or renovation of existing youth facilities or provide direct funding to support the construction of new facilities.

"In October 2022, the council with key partners began work on developing submissions to the second phase of the Youth Investment Fund (YIF).

"To this end, Audley and Queen’s Park Children Centre and Darwen Youth Centre were progressed as the council’s facilities seeking YIF support.

"In January 2023, the council submitted a bid for both of its facilities.

"The council was notified that it had been successful and would receive a total grant award of £4,583,074.

"Planning applications for both schemes have been submitted and approved by the Planning and Highways Committee, "The bid for works falls within the funding envelope for this programme which was presented and approved by the Executive Board on December 7 2023.

"For clarity this is a funding envelope consisting entirely of a capital grant of £4,284,953 awarded by the SIB to the council in July 2023.

"This budget will need to cover the Phase 2 Construction costs estimated to be £2.4m, spend incurred to date of £235k and all future other costs associated with this scheme."

The council will use £3.3m of the YIF cash to double the size of Darwen Youth Centre in Knott Street by revamping the existing building with an extra storey to provide a new wellbeing area, creative workshop space, recording and DJ studio, gaming zone and multi-use spaces while the outdoor sports facilities will also be upgraded.

Another £1m will be spent to transform Audley and Queen’s Park Children’s Centre into a seven days-a-week youth hub offering a specialist mental health, employability and rehabilitation support