The prime minister was in Bolton today as part of a whistle-stop tour of the North West.
Theresa May visited Bolton Lads and Girls Club to speak to children and young adults who use the facilities at the centre.
She met with chief executive Karen Edwards and AO.com boss John Roberts who both showed her around the centre in Spa Road.
However, with the council elections around the corner, local Conservatives were not at the centre to meet the prime minister.
Mrs May said she’d heard about the “great” facilities at the club in Spa Road and wanted to see it for herself.
She said: “What I’ve heard, particularly from young people, is how important this is for them. How it provides a good space for them to experience new activities and to find out what interests them.”
The prime minister toured the building, meeting with a dance group, watching a basketball game and dropping in on an art lesson.
The 11-year-olds continued painting as they spoke to Mrs May and said they enjoyed meeting her.
The children paint to take their mind of everything and chill out, according to Leona Elding.
Her classmate Caileb Carroee said: “It’s just a great place to be, it just really helps you be you and open up.”
Mrs May also spoke to Bolton boxer Cindy Ngamba who recently won at the England Boxing championships.
The 20-year-old champion described the meeting as an “amazing” experience but said she was very nervous.
She said: “When they asked me if I wanted to meet Theresa May, I said, ‘The Theresa May that you usually see on TV?’, I was like okay!”
Chief executive Karen Edwards said: “It’s been fantastic to see the prime minister in Bolton here at Bolton Lads and Girls Club.
“She’s been amazing with the children and young people, made time to speak to everyone, was here well over her time slot and we hope to see her again in the future.”
Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member for environmental services Cllr Nick Peel said that the local authority is proud of the club.
He said: “Bolton Labour Council is proud to associate itself with the work of Bolton Lads and Girls Club, who we have historically funded and commissioned services from to benefit the young people of Bolton.
“However, due to the record funding cuts that we have suffered from under Theresa May’s continued austerity agenda, which she promised to end, both the Council and Voluntary Sector youth services are unable to be funded to the level that we would want to.
“Britain is facing a growing problem of knife crime amongst young people, and the cuts to both frontline policing and youth work is only adding to the crime problem in out town and in our country”