New Youth Hub at Leigh Sports Village ‘for kids with nothing to do’ complete
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Part-funded by the council’s Believe in Leigh fund, the facility will provide a skills and training centre and extra resources for professional and amateur sports clubs.
A partnership between Wigan Youth Zone, Wigan Council, JobCentre Plus and Leigh Sports Village is looking to ensure young people aged 18 to 24 are able to access the training and employment opportunities that are available in the area.
After ground broke on the project back in February this year, the hub now hosts state of the art gym equipment, computer facilities as well as an immersive technology and sensory room.
James Winterbottom, director of digital, leisure and wellbeing at Wigan Council, told the Confident Council Scrutiny Committee that this would “focus on health, wellbeing and employment prospects for young people and to also serve the wider community in Leigh.”
Councillors James Watson and Stuart Gerrard both had concerns as to the location of the hub and wanted to ensure there would be provision to get young people from more deprived areas into the hub. They suggested free transport from places like Hag Fold in Atherton would be required to get support for those that need it.
“The location was picked by young people themselves,” Mr Winterbottom told Wigan Town Hall. “It was a place they felt was safe and their parents felt was safe.
“It is non-territorial. We want to make sure there is free transport available to get young people there.”
He added that young people surveyed requested to learn cooking skills which led the council to hire a chef to teach them. Coun Mary Callaghan said it was ‘wonderful to see this come together’ and that this was ‘needed in an area where we have nothing to do’.
Coun Gerrard went further to suggest that work needs to be done to attract young people from Atherton, Tyldesley and Astley to the hub as it is “a long trek” to Leigh Sports Village.
He was reassured that a partnership has been formed to try and recognise young people that would benefit from the hub and they would target particular areas of deprivation.