A NEW youth centre offering a music and dance studio is opening up in Farnworth at the site of a former bank.

Community interest company Believe and Achieve have renovated the old Barclay's on Market Street into a modern youth club, providing a space for those aged 8-25 to meet friends, develop hobbies and learn new skills.

Applications for membership at the centre will open from April 26, with an initial group of around 150 young people being offered access to the centre at the start of May.

More members will be allowed to join after a trial period will work out timings for different age groups.

Tunde Olasupo, founder and executive co-ordinator of Believe and Achieve, said: “We’ve taken over the old Barclays bank building, which is well-known in the area.

“It took us about four weeks to get the building ready, we’ve fitted it with a dance studio, recording studio, a computer room and a gym.

“The idea is to have a place where young people can come, feel safe and try new things.

“At the centre we will have a professionals in dance, music and computing as well as a careers advisor on hand to support the members.

“I have links with Simon Cowell’s company Syco and we plan on sending three samples of music made at the studio to Sony Music every three months.

“A key aspect of the centre is boosting young people’s mental health and making sure they have activities to focus on.”

The centre will be staffed by volunteers and there will be food on site for young people who need it.

Tunde added: “As part of our work we deliver food parcels to 3,500 families in the area, so at the centre there will also be food available at the site. If any local firms wish to support us, we can offer them the opportunity to advertise on a screen at the front of our building too.”

Cllr Julie Pattinson said: “It’s welcome news for the residents of Farnworth and Kearsley. We’ve had problems with youths gathering on the streets so this is a very welcome provision in the area. I’m looking forward to watching this initiative grow.”