THE first phase of a youth arts project in Newton Aycliffe has been completed.

A meeting in the Youth House at Silverdale Place was held last week to mark the end of phase one.

Funding provided by a County Durham Youth Development Grant has been used by education in the community worker Rob Robson to enable young people to design and paint part of their Youth House.

Local artist Emma Payne helped the youngsters develop their ideas and several designs were incorporated into the final wall drawings.

The paintings are on an international theme and include Chinese symbols and animals.

The young people were also helped by the art department and teachers from Greenfield School Community and Arts College.

Mr Robson said: "The commitment of the young people during what was their free time enabled the completing of this first phase."

The project is led by Durham County Council education in the community workers who staff and run the sessions and co-ordinate project resources.

The Youth House, a facility for the west of Aycliffe, has been provided by Sedgefield Borough Council as part of its Neighbourhood Renewal initiative.

The project, which is supported by county and borough councillors, has received significant resources and help from the Youth Offending Service and Newton Aycliffe Youth Centre management committee.

Representatives from all of the agencies and organisations visited the house on Tuesday.