FORMER Middlesbrough FC hero Bernie Slaven joined civic leaders to open a new visitor centre and roller park in the town's Albert Park at the weekend.

With a designated Teenzone for 12 to 16-year-olds, it is hoped the improvements will be popular with the town's youngsters.

On a day of celebrations to mark the official opening, the park was a riot of colour with street theatre, roller hockey demonstrations, story-telling and stilt walkers among the attractions. Members of the Castlegate Quay watersports centre, Stockton, also took to the park lake, which has had founntains installed.

Middlesbrough's Young Mayor, Adam Gallagher, cut the ribbon to declare the facility open. He said: "The Teenzone play area which is specially designed for young people is a brilliant idea.

"I think the young people in the town will get a lot of pleasure from the park."

The Teenzone area forms phase one of the park's redevelopment, with phase two due to start in the autumn.