Wigan’s new state of the art £6.3 million youth centre is set to open its doors for the first time on Saturday.
The Wigan Youth Zone, the brainchild of Club Chairman Dave Whelan and local businessmen Martin Ainscough and Bill Ainscough, will provide activities for the town’s young people seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year.
To celebrate its launch a range of activities have been organised in and around the Parson’s Walk facility including a parade of the FA Cup, sports and music activities and a fireworks display in the evening.
People will also get the chance to play football for the first time on the pitches at the Youth Zone which have been funded with the help of the Football Club and a £350,000 grant from the Premier League.
The Club’s first team stars also made a significant donations to the development of the building, while Wigan Athletic Community Trust will have a football officer based at the centre who will be organising football coaching on evening, weekends and during the school holidays.
Festivities on Saturday start at 1pm in Mesnes Park with activities including inflatable assault courses, a bouncy castle, face painting, a paint ball range and football with coaches from Wigan Athletic Community Trust.
At 2pm, the FA Cup will arrive in Mesnes Park with the opportunity for fans to have their picture taken with the trophy.
At 3pm, a parade will set off from the park led by founders Bill and Martin Ainscough and Dave Whelan on a horse drawn carriage along with the FA Cup.
Heading back the Youth Zone for 4pm, an official ribbon cutting will declare Wigan Youth Zone open. A host of taster activities from sports and climbing to art and music will be then be available through the afternoon.
The new skate park facility at the rear of the youth zone will be open be from 4.30pm with professional BMX riders christening the park with demonstrations.
Music takes centre stage from 7.30pm with Wigan star and Youth Zone worker Lauren Waterworth singing with the Wigan Youth Zone Choir.
The evening will be rounded off by a fireworks display at 9.30pm before the event closes at 10pm.
Forms for new member registration will be available in Mesnes Park and later at Wigan Youth Zone where the annual £5 membership can be paid. Young people can also pop into the facility to register in the run up to opening.
Following the event, the £6.3 million facility will be open for young people in Wigan Borough to use seven nights a week.
The facility will be open from 4 – 10pm each day for young people aged 12 – 19 (or 25 for young people with learning difficulties or disabilities).
In addition, the centre will be open exclusively to juniors aged 8 – 11 from 10 – 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information on Wigan Youth Zone go to www.wiganyouthzone.org.