YOUNG people in Cookley will soon have their own space to spend time and relax when the village’s new youth club is launched tomorrow (Thursday, December 18).

Based at the village hall, the club has room for table football, a pool table and table tennis, together with a lounge area, a gaming area and a small stage.

Andrea Holmes, managing director of Connecting Neighbourhoods, said: “The youth club is a great addition to the village.

“It will give the young people much more to do especially in a space specifically designed with young people in mind.

“When first developing the idea of a youth club we worked together with the young people as to what the centre should look like and what equipment we should have.

“From being involved from the start, the young people who will be using the club have had the space designed specifically for them.”

When the new village hall was opened in 2011, the loft area, divided into two rooms, was used solely for storage, but it was realised that part of the storage area could be used for youth club activities if it was converted.

Cookley Village Hall Association engaged with an architect and obtained local authority building control approval to be able to carry out the works.

Alterations to the lighting to include emergency lighting, the addition of two toilets - one male and one female, stud work to wall off the water tank and water heater and improvements to ventilation with an extractor fan have all been completed.

A team of 13 volunteers will be taking part in basic first aid training as well as a course on community volunteering to help out at the club which has already raised a lot of interest.

Andrea said: “We hosted a registration evening where children and their parents could sign up to join and we were overwhelmed with the amount of people who expressed an interest.

“The feedback has been very positive and we have so much demand that we have had to split into different age categories.”

Funding for the project has been provided by grants from the Big Lottery Fund, Severn Waste Environmental Fund, Cookley’s local Worcestershire County Councillor's budget and West Mercia Police Authority.

The Sebright Educational Foundation has paid for equipment, while the village also held a fireworks night that helped to raise more than £1,000 towards the project.

Other donations were received from Cookley Sports Club, local postmaster Tony Higley, and Peter Green of The Anchor Inn, in Caunsall.

The club’s official opening will take place at 6.30pm this evening.