LEIGH Youth Hub is celebrating its first anniversary this week as its number of visitors nears the 8,500 mark.

The multi-million-pound facility at Leigh Sports Village officially opened its doors in February last year, supporting young people, families and the wider community with a range of services.

Around 2,000 young people have attended the popular evening midweek open-access sessions, with more than 500 also signed up to the gym.

Wigan Council also offers training and skills opportunities at the hub, such as courses in the fully-equipped catering kitchen, in addition to the chance to relax and socialise using pool tables and games rooms.

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Leigh Journal: Cllr Keith Cunliffe and Cllr Jenny Bullen at Leigh Youth HubCllr Keith Cunliffe and Cllr Jenny Bullen at Leigh Youth Hub (Image: Leigh Youth Hub)
Councillor Jenny Bullen, cabinet member for children and families, said: “What a fantastic first year it has been for Leigh Youth Hub.

“Our decision to invest more than £2m aimed to create a place that would contribute to improving the health, wellbeing and employment prospects for local young people and I’m so pleased that it is having that impact.

“I would like to thank the staff, our young people’s steering group and all of our partners who have all made invaluable contributions to this year’s success and we’re very excited for the future.”

Leigh Journal: Members using the hub's pool tableMembers using the hub's pool table (Image: Wigan Council)
Through the steering group, young people have influenced the development and ethos of the hub when plans were first proposed in 2021.

Educational, training and skills opportunities are available at the site in partnership with local organisations, such as Wigan Youth Zone, the Department of Work and Pensions and Expanse, the school for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Meanwhile, further opportunities are also provided by Reclaim youth leadership project, The Holden School, a supportive school for children with social or emotional barriers to learning, Leigh community organisation, Everything Human Rights, and Wigan and Leigh College.

Leigh Journal: The Youth Hub has been hailed a great successThe Youth Hub has been hailed a great success (Image: Wigan Council)
Operations manager Amanda Dumican, said: “I’m so proud of how our first year has gone, with fantastic numbers of young people coming through the doors and an ever-increasing number of new activities on offer and supportive partners.

“The staff here are a big part of what makes Leigh Youth Hub special, and I’d like to thank all of them and our volunteers for their hard work and commitment to young people. They’re such a great team and their ability to multi-task and help each other out whenever needed is amazing.

“We’re going to be introducing some new activities for 2024, such as art therapy, and we’re all really looking forward to the year ahead.”

Facilities at Leigh Youth Hub include a full-sized catering kitchen, young people’s gym, sensory room, IT suite, conference room, and a common room where young people can play table tennis, pool, Xbox, have a go at arts and crafts activities, or just chat with friends.

There is also a separate strength and conditioning gym, which is used by Leigh’s elite and amateur sports clubs.