A TRAINING centre set up in Chester-le-Street has been praised by the town's MP for helping people log on to the world of computers.

The Consett-based Derwentside College opened its Information Technology Centre in the town's former Mechanics Institute in Newcastle Road in January.

Within a few days 100 students enrolled for a variety of courses.

The North Durham MP, Giles Radice, who visited the centre, said: "This innovative learning environment is providing a vital service to the people of Chester-le-Street and beyond. This centre is allowing people of all ages to discover the many advantages and benefits of information technology within their working and personal lives.''

The centre, which was launched with Chester-le-Street District Council, offers courses and training ranging from beginner level to exploring the Internet.

A college spokeswoman said: "The major attraction of the centre is its flexible approach to learning. People can call in for as little as an hour at a time and study at their own pace."

The college is launching an IT Systems Support course in Sep-tember. The centre is open betw-een 9am and 9pm Monday to Thursday, from 9am to 4pm on Friday and between 9am and 1pm on Saturday. For details call the college on (01207) 585900.