WORK is now underway to identify a suitable site for Bury's proposed £8.4m youth zone.

The local authority is trying to pinpoint an appropriate home in either Bury or Radcliffe town centre which would be easily accessible for those from the most deprived areas.

The authority has teamed up with charity OnSide, which has facilities which offer a range of sporting, artistic, cultural, physical and recreational activities for young people, as well as access to personal development and informal education.

They typically ask for a 50p charge per session which gives the young people access to more than 20 sessions each evening.

The youth zones are important as studies have shown that young people who attend become healthier, do better in school and live more positive lives.

The cost of this current youth zone is estimated at £8.4m, to be met by the private sector through OnSide and by the council with the help of government grants.

Cllr Tamoor Tariq, cabinet member for children, young people and skills at the council, said: “OnSide has built a network of affordable, high quality youth zones across the country, transforming the lives of young people by giving them the opportunity to discover their passion and their purpose.

“We want to work with them to create one in Bury, to inspire our young people to lead healthier and more positive lives and raise their aspirations so they grow up to become happy, caring and responsible citizens.”

The council has now approved a location viability study by OnSide, with a further report to be brought to the council.

If agreed, work would then start on designs, and the aim is to have the youth zone open by 2025.