£5m centre’s arty touch

The Hut - on land between kershaw Avenue and Queen's Park Drive, Airedale - is nearly finished.
The Hut - on land between kershaw Avenue and Queen's Park Drive, Airedale - is nearly finished.

ARTISTIC youngsters are putting the finishing touches to a new £5m youth centre designed to bring together teenagers from across the Five Towns.

Students from Airedale Academy and Castleford Academy joined international artist Jim Harper at The Hut in Airedale to paint a mural on the wall of the state-of-the-art new centre’s ten-pin bowling alley.

The Carlyle Road centre – for youngsters aged 13 to 19 – opens on July 23 and will also include a sports hall, ‘chill out’ zone, computer lab and cinema.

Lindsay D’Arcy-Neild, Castleford Academy art teacher, said: “I think it is a brilliant idea to provide the students of the district with a centre which is so modern and fun.

“There can be rivalry between the local schools and by giving them a space they can share and do activities together it should create some important links and friendships in the community.

“Being involved in the launch and art work in the centre was a great opportunity for the children to put something into a project they will use for years to come.”

The mural features local landmarks and symbols, including the Castleford Tigers’ logo.

Knottingley company Caddick Construction built the centre for Wakefield Council with funding from the government’s Myplace programme and the project was overseen by the BIG National Lottery Fund.

The charity Chrysalis Youth and Community Project will also host activities and services at the centre, including groups focusing on alcohol, pregnancy and sexual health, social skills and healthy eating.

Liz Firth, Chrysalis’ education development manager, said: “Young people from the local area have been actively involved in the design and development of The Hut and we will continue to involve them in its future running.”