Established during a time of great industrial and social change in 1889, and due to a lack of affordable quality facilities dedicated to young people, Bolton Lads & Girls Club (BLGC) was one of the first organisations in the North West to recognise the importance of providing young people a safe place to spend their free time.
The founders of the Club, two church leaders and three industrialists, met and decided they must do something to improve the lives of young people working in mills. They responded by buying an old warehouse in Bark Street and opened it as a hostel where the young workers could wash, eat and sleep in peace.
We know little of their long-term intentions for the Club, it is probable that they thought the hostel would close when the short-term accommodation problems of the mill workers disappeared.
However, BLGC is still going from strength to strength, now welcoming over 4,000 young people through its doors every year. Still one of the largest youth clubs in the UK, the Club offers a range of targeted and universal provisions including sports, arts, mentoring and community outreach work.