YOUNG people in Burnley can get ‘in the zone’ with the unveiling of a new £1.5million centre which they helped bring to life.

The architects of the town’s new youth zone, at the former Meadowbank Centre, in Whittam Street, were the teenagers who will benefit from the Lancashire County Council venture.

And authority chairman Coun Michael Devaney and Coun Matthew Tomlinson, young people’s cabinet member, were on hand to pay tribute to their efforts at an official launch on Friday.

Wheelchair user Cameron McQueenie, who helped the chairman to unveil the opening plaque, said: “I have helped to design the youth zone for people from all walks of life.

“It has been an unique process - probably one I will never forget.”

Abidul Kabir, 19, said that being part of the steering group had ‘helped with my self-confidence and self-belief’ and he was looking forward to taking part in future work.

Aaron Lewis, another steering group member, said that ‘young people had got what young people wanted’ by being involved in the design stages.

Amy Dinsdale, 12, said: “The staff are lovely and it’s a really nice place to be.”

Later Coun Tomlinson said: “I am sure that the youth zone is going to be a massive boost for Burnley for years to come.”

Coun Devaney told guests that the centre, built by contractors ISG, was ‘an important investment in future generations’.

The new zone features a sports hall, internet cafe, arts studio, and outdoor multi-use games area, workshop areas and kitchen and is the third to open locally after similar sites in Leeds Road, Nelson, and Burnley Road, Rawtenstall.