A COMMUNITY building to be used by young people in rural communities has been officially opened.

Former England rugby star Dean Richards did the honours at the new Young Famers’ Club facility in West Butsfield, near the A68, between Consett and Tow Law, in County Durham.

Work on the £136,000 facility got underway last October and was completed in March but has been finished off and landscaped by club members over the last few months.

It has a meeting room, toilets and kitchen facilities, and will be used for meetings and special events held by the club.

Mr Richards, now director of rugby at Newcastle Falcons, is a trustee for Project Genesis, which gave a small donation towards the building.

Speaking to The Northern Echo at the opening on Tuesday, he said: “I enjoy hunting, shooting and fishing and I am very supportive of the Young Farmers.

“The Young Farmers are not just important in rural communities but across the whole country too and have a massive impact on the culture and day to day lives they lead.

“This building is in part a way to facilitate that.”

Mr Richards, who lives in a rural community himself, added: “I think it’s a fantastic building.

“They are incredibly lucky and congratulations to them.

“I feel honoured to open it.”