Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg officially opened the Sutton Life Centre this morning.

Mr Clegg embarked on a whistle-stop tour of the controversial £8 million facility, in Sutton Common Road, before making a speech to invited guests.

As part of his visit he also sat in on a short lesson with Greenshaw High School pupils on what they had learned from the venue.

He described Sutton as a "vanguard of the Big Society" and said the Life Centre "fitted in pefectly with that spirit".

"I was struck by what a boy called Jack said about the place. He said 'it makes you feel confident about life', which is exactly right. It will give optimism and confidence to young people.

"Growing up today isn’t easy as life has become more complex for young people to navigate.

"We want to wipe the slate clean so young people are free from the burden of our failings.

"There is nothing fair about putting those burdens on your shoulders. What happens to you when you’re young is the most important time of your life.

"Every single child, irrespective of their circumstances, should get the start in life they deserve and in a nutshell that is the definition of what a fair, liberal society should be like."

Click here to view a picture gallery of Nick Clegg opening the Sutton Life Centre