CHESHIRE Fire and Rescue Service's Safety Central has been transformed as part of a £30,000 investment.

The learning centre in Lymm, which promotes safety and life skills, now has a new mock convenience store courtesy of the Co-op.

It will be used to teach thousands of schoolchildren, young people and community groups about healthy eating, food labelling, age restrictions on certain products and the impact and implications of shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.

Children from Locking Stumps Community Primary School in Birchwood were the first to use the new store.

Activities for young children included a healthy shopping basket challenge and understanding what to do if they get separated from their parents.

Teenagers can learn about the consequences of stealer while older visitors receive tips on how to keep their money, bank and credit cards safe.

Centre manager, Mark Shone, said: "I can’t thank the Co-op and its partners enough for supporting our efforts to help people stay safe, well and happy.

"The convenience store is a popular and vital part of our interactive learning environment.

"Thanks to the Co-op’s hard work and generosity, it is now even more realistic and interactive.

"Features like a working till programmed to react when age-restricted products are scanned will really bring learning to life.

"I am sure our volunteer rangers and visitors of all ages will thoroughly enjoy losing themselves in the activities the mock convenience store will host in the coming years."

The new Co-op forms part of the Safety Central’s ‘Safer Choices’ zone, which includes a police custody facility, a magistrates’ courtroom and an online safety suite.

The centre’s original mock convenience store, installed by Tesco, has been dismantled and donated to Skillzone, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s safety education centre.