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Boost for town's musical youth

PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

NEEDHAM Market could become a hotbed for DJs of the future if a new scheme to tempt youngsters off the streets succeeds.

Club Rude, the twice-weekly youth club in the town, is investing in a host of new musical equipment and is also extending its opening hours to four evenings per week.

NEEDHAM Market could become a hotbed for DJs of the future if a new scheme to tempt youngsters off the streets succeeds.

Club Rude, the twice-weekly youth club in the town, is investing in a host of new musical equipment and is also extending its opening hours to four evenings per week.

Around £12,000 has been received from the Home Office, Mid Suffolk district council and Community Against Drugs for the project.

Music decks, a portable sounding recording studio, a computer and keyboards are among the gear being made available to the youngsters.

Zena Fenton, senior youth worker at Suffolk County Council run club, in School Street, said: "At most youth clubs, you get a pool table, a table tennis table and maybe a dartboard but today's youngsters want the latest technology."

The moves follow a meeting held with the youngsters in January, which was attended by representatives of the police, town council and neighbourhood watch groups.

Pc Paul Elding, Needham Market's community police officer, said: "I think it's an excellent idea and think it's something that's needed.

"It has to be two-sided though and the youngsters have got to help themselves. It may go some way to addressing problems we have during the school holidays and in winter time with youngsters hanging around."

It is hoped the extended opening hours could run during the summer holidays and the sound recording studio – a converted junk room – is set to be in place shortly.

Neighbourhood watch chairwoman for the area, Jenny Straughier, backed the moves and said: "We're hopeful it will be a success. The kids know we want it to work so it's up to them now."

The additional opening hours are being trialled until April, when the set up will be reviewed. The club is open to 13 to 19-year-olds.

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