WORK to improve a community centre courtyard has started in a bid to get more groups to use the facilities.

Once completed, residents and community groups from the Ayresome area of Middlesbrough, will have a new centre at St Aidan's Community Church.

The courtyard will provide a sports area for youth groups and a small landscaped garden for older members.

Among the groups using the centre are mental health day visitors, the Ignite youth club, Aidan's Mother and Toddlers, and Teen Challenge.

They all worked on the design, which incorporates a barbecue area, a patio with raised flower beds, a toddler play area and a kickabout area.

Ken Whiteway, a member of St Aidan's Church, said: "We are really pleased to see this outdoor area being improved. The work will be finished soon."

Funding came from Barclays Sitesavers, the Neighbourhood Support Fund, and the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund's Community Chest and Environmental Community Chest.