MUSIC superstar Sting this morning officially opened a new music therapy centre to help children in the North-East.

The centre, at the former matron’s lodge at Newcastle’s Fleming Hospital, has been funded by the Graham Wylie Foundation and will be run by the UK’s leading music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, to support children and young people from across the region.

The Wallsend-born star was joined at the ceremony by Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson who earlier in the year broke ground on the new centre as building work began.

The centre features a room named after the band, who have been at the forefront of fundraising for the Graham Wylie Foundation.

Officially unveiling a plaque at the centre today, Sting said: “I am a perfect example of the effectiveness of music therapy.

“I say this because without music I don’t know what my life would be like. I was a teacher myself and I think music programmes generally are under threat in this country and we need more music in schools.”

He added: “I have always been a supporter of Nordoff Foundation. They do amazing work for young people who need music therapy.

“This centre is an entirely dedicated to bring children here, who will benefit from playing music, playing instruments, making a sound a noise.”

Along with donating the building, The Graham Wylie Foundation was a principal fundraiser for the centre through its Rock’n’Raise campaign, which was backed by a host of stars, such as Sting and Kaiser Chiefs.

Foundation founder Graham Wylie said: “We are incredibly grateful to Sting for taking the time out of his incredibly busy schedule to declare the Nordoff music therapy centre open.

“It will be a huge asset to the region and we are proud to have played our part in bringing it to fruition.”

Ricky Wilson said: “When we broke the ground here it was all frost and soil and now it’s all curtains and ribbons.

“It’s incredible it’s come this far. But it’s not all about opening ceremonies, it’s about the future of the place and the upkeep.

“We’ll keep doing events and things like that to pay for it. We need a bit of help.

So if anyone is out there feels like helping a bit - even if you don’t come down and have a look and you will feel like helping a bit and get involved.”