A COMMUNITY centre could be forced to close if people don’t help to keep it running, a councillor has warned.

Lower Darwen Community Centre, in Fore Street, is a self-funded facility used by a number of groups in the area.

But Fernhurst councillor Jacqueline Slater said there was a danger it would close if people don’t use it.

She said: “I fear it will close because there is nobody prepared to volunteer. It is so sad.

“It has been going for 15 to 20 years and a lot of the volunteers are older now.”

The main use of the centre is the youth club, which is run in conjunction with the police.

Coun Slater said: “The youth club started with 29 and now there are 70-odd kids using it. The police help to run it and they are absolutely brilliant. It makes Lower Darwen safer as the kids have an input into it so it makes them respect the area.

“It helps build community relations as well as they have initiatives like clean-ups.”

Coun Slater said a number of other groups used the centre, such as Weight Watchers. She said: “There is a lot that goes on in the centre. I hold my ward surgeries there for one.

“There are also painting classes and fly-tying, where people learn to put flies on fishing hooks, and there is a coffee morning every Monday.

“There is a lovely computer centre but nobody uses it. The computers just sit there idle.

“A job club would be a good idea but there is nobody to run it. So there are lots of things going on but not enough people coming in. It really is a case of use it or lose it.”

Anyone starting a group or looking for a facility to use can contact secretary Janet Simpson on 01254 602082.