A HEADTEACHER wants to stamp out gang violence in Swindon's central ward after becoming alarmed by the crime-ridden paths his former pupils have taken.

Drove Primary head, Nick Capstick, wants to see a youth facility built on his school's campus to serve the Broadgreen and central community.

But he says council funding is vital to get the scheme up and running.

Mr Capstick's proactive stance has hardened since the hammer attack on Ridgeway schoolboy Henry Webster and subsequent trial.

He says 12 of the 14 youths involved in the hammer attack left Drove with an exemplary record.

"Young people I knew for years are getting into trouble because they're bored," he said.

"We need to create a feeling of Swindon-ness.

"We're getting people together to look at creating a youth facility in the area to make a real difference."

Mr Capstick said he believed youths were disaffected and disillusioned by the lack of interest taken in them by the council. Though he wouldn't go as far as to say that Henry Webster's attack could have been prevented, he believes a youth facility might deter young people from becoming involved in such events and provide a cure for the current gang culture. Mr Capstick said he felt the explanation may be that children are let down by the lack of provision after school and a reduced sense of unity once they leave primary school.

About 70 people from the community packed into a meeting on Monday to support plans for the youth facility, including representatives from the Afro-Caribbean, Asian, Polish, Turkish and Somalian and community leaders from all the different faiths.

Senior police officers and education officials and local councillors Robert Wright, Derique Montaut and Junab Ali also attended.

The meeting involved speakers from the community and then workshops in which people were able to build on Mr Capstick's original proposals. Despite its 30 different cultures and 29 languages, Drove Primary has never had a single race-related incident.

His vision is of a youth facility for all cultures and ages that can serve the interest of the community.

"There are lots of smaller projects which have a low level of funding and support which means the activities young people can do might be small or low quality," he said.

He believes that such projects may be contributing to the feelings of isolation within the small communities.

However, any such project will need funding from both the council and charities.

Mr Capstick's hope is that the council will provide three months of funding to allow the community to conduct research and draw up a business plan.

Although several people have already volunteered their services and skills for free, Mr Capstick said any further offers would be appreciated.