A COMPANY which provides after school education in inner city areas has set it sights on opening its first centre in the Bradford district in an empty shop.

Explore Learning plans to open in part of the former Blockbuster Video store in Ingleby Road, Girlington, which has been empty since the movie rental chain shut down a year ago.

English and maths will be taught from the centre, which will also hold classes to help prepare primary school children for the move to secondary school.

The company has applied to Bradford Council for a change of use of two thirds of the Blockbuster building, and in its application says the centre would create up to 20 jobs.

The application adds: "The centres are vibrant, inspiring places that make children feel as if they are attending a club rather than a classroom. During their session, members work with tutors on programmes that have been individually tailored for their own needs and ability levels."

It says there will be about 75 visits to the centre a day, and although families are charged to attend, they can use childcare vouchers or get discount if on working tax credit.

Centres in other areas are used by local schools during the school day, and the company says they have "added to the vitality" of areas where they have opened, as parents often go shopping while their children are in the one hour 15 minute sessions.

If it gets the go ahead to open the centre, Explore Learning says it would open from 9am until 8pm on Monday to Saturday and 10am to 6pm on Sundays. Its nearest other centre is in Moortown in Leeds.

Earlier this year a Council report revealed that Bradford was falling behind in primary school performance, with maths and reading proving particularly poor. Among the worst performing age groups were key stage two - the final year of primary school.

Ladbrokes has planning permission for a betting shop in the remainder of the building, but the latest application says: "We understand that the approved development will not be progressing."

Bradford Council will make a decision on the application next month.