MALVERN'S art scene is being dominated by the over-50s and is failing to cater for the young, says artist Ed Hargrave.

Mr Hargrave, who lives at Hanley Castle, said young teenagers would be "less destructive" if they were given something creative to do and that 20 and 30-year-olds should have their own organisation, fed by sixth forms and colleges.

His comments were prompted by the current exhibition of Malvern Art Club, which ends tomorrow at Malvern Library.

"It's a very good show, but at the opening every contributing artist, including myself, was evidently near or well over 50," he said.

Another member of Malvern Art Club, Ros Rowberry, sympathised with his view.

She was joint organiser of this year's Malvern Visual Arts Festival, which included a competition for sixth formers, an exhibition of primary school art and workshops for both adults and children.

"These young people were so excited about their work being exhibited. They do need a platform, because there is so much talent in Malvern," she said.

Brian Porter, chairman of The Gallery, a joint venture by local artists, said they already provide for the young.

"Fifty per cent of our members are under 50 and we have 10 junior members aged from six to 17," he said.

Young members currently exhibiting paintings and crafts in The Gallery include Sonia Nutt (16), Jenni Sanderson (14), David Sanderson (17), Sarah Rozelaar (11), Heather Porter (11), Ria Poynton (16) and Pam Statham (17).

"We have run a series of workshops here for youngsters and adults, but they were not always fully booked," said Mr Porter.

Caroline Parke, head of art and craft at Malvern Hills College, said: "We already run Saturday morning and after-school classes. We are keen to get young people involved. If people want us to do more, we will do it."

The after-school club for high school pupils, Malvern Hills Young Artists, meets in the life room on Wednesdays and has about 10 members, but could take more.

In addition, there are two Saturday morning ceramics classes for infants and juniors, plus a "Really Good Art Class for Children" with Wendy Ruddick, catering for five to 11-year-olds.