DIGNITARIES and founder patrons of the new £8million Blackburn Youth Zone got a first chance to see how building work is progressing.

The project, which will offer a range of top-quality activities as well as practical social service-type support to youngsters, is set to open in January.

But work at the site, off Jubilee Street, is now well under way.

A host of VIPs were on hand for the tour of the scheme, including Blackburn MP Jack Straw and representatives from supporters and businesses from across the area.

Chief executive Peter Little and board chairman Andrew Graham, the boss of wallpaper giant Graham and Brown, said the initiative will have a huge impact on the town.

The iconic building will cater for 3,000 youngsters a week.

Facilities will include a football pitch, sports hall, a boxing gym, a fitness centre and an arts and craft zone.