YOUNGSTERS gave up a day of their half-term holiday to attend the launch of a technology centre.

Pupils at Burnhope Primary School, Langley Avenue, Burnhope, were joined by Government Chief Whip and North West Durham MP Hilary Armstrong for the launch of their school's UK Online Centre, on Friday.

They were able to keep up with the action in the England versus Argentina match online, using the centre's computers, and were also able to watch on television.

There were technology demonstrations and practical advice during the launch event, along with two soccer activity sessions.

As a follow-up, two free taster sessions on beginners' Information Technology (IT) will be held tomorrow and next Tuesday as part of the Learning and Skills Council's national Bitesize Campaign.

Burnhope's UK Online Centre is the second to be established in County Durham after the county council secured more than £500,000 to set up 14 in primary schools across the county.

The scheme involves developing spaces for IT suites, where members of the community can surf the Internet, learn about computers, send and receive e-mails and learn about digital photography, webpage design and computer art.