£8m boost for Blackburn with Darwen’s youth facilities

Published 01st Mar 2024

Do you vaguely recognise the building in this picture?

It’s actually Darwen Youth Centre which is set to double in size!

It’s one of four major projects to benefit from a successful bid to improve facilities for youngsters right across the borough with work due to start this year.

Impressively, Blackburn with Darwen received £8m through the Government’s Youth Investment Fund last summer – more funding than any other place in the whole country.

So, what’s planned?


Darwen Youth Centre – £3.3m

Building on the success of the existing Darwen Youth Centre and Youth Zone Darwen, the Knott Street facility will double in size as part of plans to add an extra level on to the existing building.

The re-development will boast a new wellbeing area, creative workshop space, recording and DJ studio, gaming zone and multi-use spaces and the outdoor sports facilities will be upgraded too.


Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone – £2.9m

A brand-new employment and skills hub will be developed by expanding the Youth Zone offer into the unused Fuse Box building at its Blackburn site in the town centre.

It’ll build on the Youth Zone’s huge success with employability and ensuring youngsters are work ready through strong links with businesses across the area.


Audley and Queen’s Park Children’s Centre – £1m

Part of the Council’s Children’s Centre and Family Hubs review, the existing facilities will be transformed for children and young people living in the area.

The new youth centre there will be run by local youth organisation, IMO.

The centre will be open seven days a week for them to enjoy with a specialist mental health offer, employability and rehabilitation support too.


Shadsworth Hub – £800,000

The new youth hub will be built alongside a redesigned park in the heart of the community.

It’ll be open to all youngsters in the area, offering impressive new indoor and outdoor spaces for them to enjoy.

And, to add to all of this, it’s just been announced that the Wensley Fold Children’s Centre will benefit from a £140,000 refurb too.


Councillor Julie Gunn, the Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

“We’re absolutely determined to ensure every child and young person in our borough has the opportunities to fulfil their potential.

“This funding will truly transform the facilities for youngsters, but more importantly it’ll help change lives.”



Find out more, visit: www.theshuttle.org.uk


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