DESPITE being officially open for just over a month, the state-of-the-art Leigh Youth Hub is already proving popular with young residents.

Since its launch in February, the multi-million-pound facility has welcomed an average of 150 young people for its weekly evening open sessions and 140 have already been inducted into the gym.

After more than 12 months to get the project completed, the Youth Hub boasts two gyms, pool and table tennis tables, computer facilities and an "immersive technology" sensory room. 

Local organisations including Wigan Council, Wigan and Leigh College, charities and government bodies, have also been working in partnership to run programmes, careers advice sessions, and targeted youth groups to get teenagers involved throughout the week.

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Leigh Journal: Councillor Bullen with some of the young peoples steering group at Leigh Youth HubCouncillor Bullen with some of the young peoples steering group at Leigh Youth Hub (Image: Wigan Council)

Councillor Jenny Bullen, cabinet member for children and families, said: “Leigh Youth Hub was purpose built to help improve the health, wellbeing and employment prospects for local young people and even though the facility is in its infancy, I’m so pleased that it is already having an impact.”

Made possible by a £2m investment by Wigan Council, the Youth Hub also encourages young people to access other opportunities in the nearby area, such as Leigh Sports Village, Leigh Harriers and Athletic Club, Wigan and Leigh College, local community groups and Pennington Flash.

Local organisations have also used the Hub to share facilities, with cookery programmes, boxing sessions for girls as well as a visit from Leigh Cycling Club.

The Leigh Bike Library is another initiative at the hub which gives young people the opportunity to loan bikes and cycling equipment for free.

Leigh Journal: Young people having a go on the pool tables at Leigh Youth HubYoung people having a go on the pool tables at Leigh Youth Hub (Image: Wigan Council)

Councillor Bullen added: “I’d like to thank all of the local organisations, who are working in partnership with us, to help make Leigh Youth Hub a success.

"The benefits of this approach are starting to be realised already and I’m looking forward to seeing all the new opportunities that will be offered to young people as the work progresses.

“I’d also like to thank our young people’s steering group, who have been a big part of making this facility a success and to all of the young people who have had the confidence to call in and give one of the opportunities a go.”

Young people have been involved in the development of Leigh Youth Hub since its conception in 2021, following a council-led survey, which saw around 400 young people having their say.

A youth steering group was formed to ensure the development of the hub and the activities and support offered there, the group continues to meet to share ideas and shape the hub's ongoing development.

Leigh Journal: Ben Robinson, member of Youth Parliament for Wigan and LeighBen Robinson, member of Youth Parliament for Wigan and Leigh (Image: Local Democracy Service)

Ben, 17, who has been part of the steering group since the beginning, said: 
“I have been very impressed with what I’ve seen and hope it will be valued by young people in the borough.

“I can’t believe how quickly the development has progressed and I’m happy with how our ideas have been considered by Leigh Sports Village and Wigan Council. I’m pleased with their ongoing commitment to listening to our advice.”

Another steering group member, Cheryl said that young people will 
"definitely make new friends" at the Hub.

Leigh Journal: The Youth Hub welcomes more than 100 young people a dayThe Youth Hub welcomes more than 100 young people a day (Image: Wigan Council)

Open access nights, when the hub is open to all young people aged 11-18 (and up to age 25 if you have an additional need or disability), are on Thursday and Friday evenings from 4.30-6.30pm (Year 7-9) 6.30-8.30pm (Year 10+).

The Hub is free to attend but all young people must get a parent or carer consent form (available at the hub) signed before attending regularly.

Spaces in the hub are available to hire during the day.