Stars to open new £2.5 million centre

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OLYMPIC gold medallist Jessica Ennis and former Sheffield United hero Kyle Walker have been invited to attend the official opening of a new £2.5 million youth centre in Sheffield in September.

The £2.5 million U-Mix Centre in Lowfield is the home of anti-racism project Football Unites Racism Divides, and golden girl Jess has been invited to the opening ceremony because she grew up nearby.

England international Kyle Walker has been asked to attend because he was first recommended to Sheffield United after he attended FURD’s coaching scheme as a child.

Funded by grants from the Football Foundation and Big Lottery Fund, the new facility boasts a gym, dance studio, performance area, sound studio, a rooftop terrace and a 3G synthetic football pitch.

It houses an IT suite, prayer room, one-to-one space, training room and an information and resources centre.

The FURD charity will run the centre, working together with Sheffield Council.

Mehrun Ahmed, from FURD, said: “This centre is a fantastic new facility for the communities of Lowfield and Sharrow, particularly the young people.

“FURD has lobbied for a centre like this for more than 10 years and to finally move into the building is a hugely positive step.”

Youngsters from the Sharrow area formed a steering group to ensure the centre met their needs, and they were instrumental in its design.

Mr Ahmed added: “The Urban Mixtures steering group who have driven this project forward deserve a lot of credit.

“The whole process has been inspirational and we are now working towards the official opening in September.”

When U-Mix opens it will be home to community groups, youth activities and health initiatives, with the pitches available to rent.