AN extra £530,000 is set to be spent on the creation of Rossendale’s first ‘youth zone’, it has been revealed.

State-of-the-art music and recording facilities and a coffee bar are envisaged for the Old Fire Station in Burnley Road, Rawtenstall.

And alongside a ‘cyber cafe’ will be a full computer suite, a large meeting area is planned and a drama and dance space.

At least 21 staff will be based at the youth zone - which will now be the main focus for teenagers in the valley.

An external multi-use play area, smaller meeting rooms for one-to-one sessions and an activity room have also been pencilled in. The property costs for Rossendale are £500,000, with an additional £30,000 for the IT provisions.

Work is also being put forward for Hyndburn’s youth zone, which is based at the New Era centre in Accrington.

But first a deal must be reached between the county council, the Big Lottery and Millennium Commission over the ownership of the building.

If this proceeds as planned, the Paradise Street base will see youth activities moved to the lower ground floor and a new dedicated entrance created.

This would also benefit from top-of-the-range music recording facilities, coffee bar, drama studio and activity rooms.

Helen Denton, executive director for children and young people, said in a report: “The premises will also be made available for use by voluntary, community and faith sector groups and other partners that work with young people.

“It is envisaged that this will improve and extend services for young people in the district, widening further their access to positive activities.”

Just over £1.65million will be released from the county’s capital programme to fund the Rossendale and Hyndburn works, and similar developments in Wyre and Fylde.