A YOUTH centre which is used by hundreds of youngsters in the borough is threatened with closure unless a mystery donor comes up with £30,000.

The Bromley and Downham Youth Club in Valeswood Road, is used by more than 150 youngsters, each week. Its most talented member, boxing champion Sam Webb, 20, of Chislehurst, trains regularly at the centre and is a contender for the Commonwealth Games.

But unless the centre can find running costs for the coming year, the club, which has been open since 1934, may be closed as early as the end of next month.

The trustees who manage the centre have been approached by a mystery donor but no offers have yet been confirmed.

The centre, at the heart of the Downham Estate regeneration area, is fully equipped with an arts and crafts room, snooker and table tennis, coffee bar, gym, boxing room, football area and TV room.

Youths aged from 11 to 21 use the facilities three nights a week, and community groups also use them.

The club was funded by Bromley Council until 1996 but when the youth service was tendered out to a private company, the Bromley Youth Agency (BYA) took over.

Last year no BYA funding was available, but a direct council grant was negotiated. This was refused for this year.

Trustees' secretary Hilary Cheverton said: "If the youth centre closes, local residents would definitely see a rise in juvenile disturbance. The young people would have nothing else to do but roam the streets.

"We have already had to reduce what we can offer them, and I just hope money can be found so we don't have to give it up altogether."

Bromley Council planning and communications manager Mike Carney said: "Bromley Youth Agency withdrew from the youth club to support other projects, last year. The council gave the club a grant to keep it open until the end of March. Hopefully the trustees will be successful in securing other funding.

Turn to the sports pages for details of Sam Webb's latest fight.