A YOUTH and community centre has the number of its users rocket by 200 per cent thanks to a £27,000 revamp.

Known locally as the “youthy,” Newton Aycliffe Youth Centre has provided a place for children, teenagers and the wider community to socialise and access services for a decade.

However, over the years, the facilities at the centre, on Burn Lane, have become increasingly dated and the management committee decided it was time to take action.

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And, with the help of countless volunteers and grants from organisations such as livin, the building has been completely transformed and rechristened Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre.

As well as repainting the interior in a host of bright colours, the centre now boasts new flooring, fencing, a kitchen, garden area, furniture, pool tables, computers and other electrical items, including flat screen televisions.

A modern reception area has been created in the foyer and a new community cafe serves bacon butties, toasted sandwiches and other tasty snacks between 10am and 1.30pm, Monday to Friday.

There are also plans to extend the building to create more meeting rooms.

Vince Crosby, chairman of the management committee, said: “The revamp has made such a difference. Footfall has increased by over 200 per cent and when people come in they are amazed at how good the centre looks.

“We changed the name of the centre because we commissioned a survey and found some people did not use the facilities here as they thought they are just for children. We do focus on young people but there is stuff going on for people of all ages.”

Today (Tuesday, March 4), the centre was bustling with people.

A jobs fair, organised by the Jobcentre Plus, was in full swing and the National Careers Service was holding a workshop for jobseekers interested in pursuing apprenticeships.

Training provider Aspire has also made the centre its home and runs regular courses for jobseekers to gain leadership qualifications and skills that will help them in the workplace.

The centre is also used by various clubs, including Little Gems mother and toddler group.

For more information about the activities and facilities on offer contact 01325-307522 or chairman.nayc@live.co.uk