A GROUP determined to maintain the standard of services in the east of the borough has held its official launch event.

Leigh MP Andy Burnham and Wigan Council chief executive Donna Hall attended the launch of Trust in Leigh at the Turnpike Centre in Leigh on Friday.

The charitable organisation aims to improve the lives of people who live in, work in or visit Leigh by supporting the voluntary sector and the social enterprises across sport, leisure, cultural and social issues.

Mr Burnham said: “The next stage of the journey in the regeneration of Leigh is to set up a new performance space at the Turnpike Centre.

“It would be a great thing for the town and for the people of Leigh to get involved with it would be a great opportunity.

“I think that Trust in Leigh will be able to secure National Lottery funding which will really help us go to the next level.

“So I want to ask Trust in Leigh to join me in setting that ambition to create a performance space.”

He quoted statistics that showed Leigh had only received £240,000 in National Lottery Arts Council funding when other places received around £6.5 million.

Trevor Barton, chairman of Trust in Leigh, said: “That’s a disgrace really and I think Andy is going to ruffle some feathers about this one.

“A performance space is something that Leigh is sadly lacking and it will definitely be something we look into.

“When the cuts came in we decided that we wanted to carry on the services, not for better or worse but in a different way.”

n To find out more or to sign up as a volunteer, visit trustinleigh.org.