Burnley youth project re-opens after facelift

Dame Julia Cleverdon cuts the ribbon at the Fraser Street Project in Burnley watched by Frances Monk, Allan Leighton and Amanda Chapman.'Photo Ben Parsons

Dame Julia Cleverdon cuts the ribbon at the Fraser Street Project in Burnley watched by Frances Monk, Allan Leighton and Amanda Chapman.'Photo Ben Parsons

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A YOUTH centre the Prince of Wales described as “incredible” on a visit to Burnley was officially re-opened after a massive facelift.

The Fraser Street Project, which currently helps more than 300 youngsters from the area, was a “ruin” badly in need of repair.

But following a huge renovation scheme involving local businesses and the Prince’s Charities, the centre has been transformed.

Supermums Fran Monk (45) and Amanda Chapman (34), who set up the landmark centre in 2001, were overjoyed.

Fran said: “We are a couple of mums who just wanted a better life for our children. It seems like we have got 300 children now. What has happened with the place is unbelievable. I can’t believe we’re standing here today. Without every single person’s input we would be still sat under an asbestos leaking roof.

“It is thanks to all the people involved who had trust and faith in us that we can support our community. What we want to do in future is nurture the community. We are the Big Society. We just need a bit of help.”

The centre, which was set up after the disturbances flared up in 2001, gives a lifeline to hundreds of children in the area – providing music, arts and crafts, sports, learning, IT skills and a whole lot more.

The presence of the centre alone has seen anti-social behaviour plunge and aspirations in young people soar.

But with money tight, Burnley-based businesses like Calico, BCW Engineering and local firm Wills Electrical came to the rescue to help Fraser Street continue its fantastic work.

Becky Leighton, who represents of the Prince’s charity Business in the Community, explained that the companies played a huge part from painting the walls to buying computer equipment. She said: “This is our community. This is our future workforce and this is our town so everyone should get behind it. Making a difference is what it is all about.”

Business guru Allan Leighton held a masterclass for local entrepreneurs as part of the opening celebrations.

l If your company wants to help the Fraser Street Projectemail fraserstproject@gmail.com