YOUTH workers are hoping a pilot scheme aimed at getting young people off the streets could provide a solution to a town's anti-social behaviour problems.

The Youth Inclusion Service is hoping to install a cabin - called a pod - somewhere in Willington to help young people create their own social activities.

If the pod, which has been described as a mobile youth centre, is a success, similar projects could be set up throughout the Wear Valley area.

Youth inclusion manager for Wear Valley Remi Omole said he had already looked at a similar project in Darlington and was impressed with the way it worked.

Mr Omole said talks had started with Wear Valley District Council to find a place for the pod and see if planning permission was needed.

He said: "We have targeted about 30 young people in the Willington and Crook area who have been brought to our notice by the anti-social behaviour co-ordinator, and the response has been positive.

"We are now doing what we can to get started."

The cabin would be built for the project's needs and would provide a safe and warm venue for young people to gather. It could also offer facilities such as computers and games consoles.

It is hoped that various agencies will get involved and young people will have a say on what services they would like to see in their town.

The pod will be in Willington for at least six months - and possibly longer, depending on how successful it has been.

The project has been welcomed by police, the district council and local county councillor Brian Myers.

Councillor Myers said: "It is encouraging that the Youth Inclusion Service has responded so promptly to the concerns of the Willington residents."

Elaine Baker, community safety co-ordinator at Wear Valley District Council, said: "Pods are used extensively in Darlington and have proved very popular with young people.

"We are hopeful that this scheme will go ahead and prove just as popular with our young people in Willington."