The first youngsters to use Melton’s new £250,000 youth entertainment hub were impressed by the facilities but keen to see more young people using it.
The Venue, which occupies the ground floor of Phoenix House in Nottingham Road, opened its doors for the first time on Friday night.
Those who attended played games of pool, listened and danced to music provided by a DJ, socialised and enjoyed food and soft drinks for two hours.
They were not charged admission but were given membership application forms and the option of becoming a member for £5 for the year.
Fraser Guy, project manager at the centre, said: “The opening night went really well. We probably didn’t have as many young people as we hoped for but everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.
“The feedback we’ve had so far is that the facilities are fantastic but they would like to see us boost our membership which is certainly something we are planning to do.”
The Venue, which is a members-only club for youngsters aged between 13 and 17, is being co-ordinated by Melton Learning Hub, which organises practical courses for young people who are disengaged from learning. Other agencies involved are Melton Council and Melton Aurora Rotary Club.
The centre has a bar serving non-alcoholic cocktails and other soft drinks, there is an open plan relaxation area with comfortable seating, an area for playing indoor bar games, a space for using tablet computers with free wireless broadband Internet and an outdoor area to sit.
Future sessions will include live music, art and craft workshops, talks on issues such as sexual health awareness and substance and alcohol misuse and opportunities to learn life skills such as cooking and first aid.
Fraser added: “Over the next four weeks we will concentrate on growing the membership. We’ve had lots of interest from parents asking to come along to look round the facilities and hopefully now we are open word will spread.”
There was a real buzz on social media following The Venue’s opening night, particularly on the centre’s Facebook page.
Sam Conboy posted: “Great place for teenagers to hang out, amazing facilities and great community of people. Really enjoyable place to be, just needs to gain popularity and grow.”
Adam Cox wrote: “Had a great night, good facilities, needs to grow a bit though!”
Another post by Katie Cowell read: “Amazing facility, Melton you are very lucky!”
Anyone who wants to attend can go along to a session free of charge - it is open today (Thursday) 2pm-6pm and tomorrow (Friday) 5pm-8pm - and young people will be given an application form to become a member.
A major launch of the centre will take place on Saturday, August 29, when there will be live music and a programme of activities for members and those who are considering joining.
Representatives of the various partner agencies, including the Pera Foundation and Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, attended a reception at The Venue on Thursday to learn more about the centre and plans for it going forward.