The Prince's Trust officially opens Pennine Lancashire Centre

The Prince's Trust's Pennine Lancashire Centre has been officially opened by Sir Trevor McDonald.

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The Centre, based at Sandygate Mill in Burnley, will provide a hub in the area for young people to help them overcome barriers to employment and gain the confidence and skills they need to find work.

Speaking at the opening event, Sir Trevor said: "Young people are desperately important for all of our communities. But it seems the more people talk about opportunities, the more you see the difficulties that young people experiences and things like The Prince's Trust encourages young people not only to help themselves but to encourage others in centres like these to better for their communities.

"There are so many varying perceptions about what people should do and how they should approach things, and what I find most annoying is people saying it is all terribly easy and that  things happen completely by luck. It doesn't. It happens in the owrk in centres like these, in the virtue of effort and constant hard work."

The Trust will run a variety of programmes at the centre, helping 13-30-year-olds who are unemployed or struggling at school to turn their lives around and move into work, education or training, with the aim of support 600 young people at the new centre this year.

One of the programmes will be the Trust's Enterprise Programme, aimed at 18-30 year olds and offering training in business start-up, one-to-one support on business plans, grant and loan application support and business mentoring. The programme has so far supported 61 businesses across East Lancashire.

Jonathan Townsend, regional director for The Prince’s Trust and host, said: "The numbers of young people in Lancashire who are long-term unemployed remains stubbornly high at 1,155. It is these young people – who are furthest from the labour market - who need our support the most.

"This is the first time we have been able to deliver all of our programmes to the area in such a fantastic facility for our young people."