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£5m lottery grant to fund youth centre

PUBLISHED: 16:53 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:17 25 August 2010

YOUTHS in a historically deprived area are due to get a state-of-the-art centre built with a £5 million lottery grant.

YOUTHS in a historically deprived area are due to get a state-of-the-art centre built with a £5 million lottery grant.

Trust Thamesmead was given a Big Lottery Fund grant to develop a Youth Leisure Zone in the Southern Arches under Harrow Manor Way, last Wednesday.

Thamesmead was awarded the largest of seven grants given to London boroughs by the Big Lottery Fund's myplace programme for youth schemes aimed at 17 to 23-year-olds.

Members of Thamesmead Youth Voice put together the funding application and decided what kind of facilities their youth centre should provide.

Roy Gisby, service manager of The Youth Awareness Programme (TYAP), Thamesmead, said: "Youth services in Thamesmead have been patchy, but I think people are starting to realise that you have to look more at what young people want."

TYAP, which attracts 180 youths to its six drop in centres for 13 to 19-year-olds and two for eight to 13-year-olds, will be one of five groups invited to work at the centre.

Last May the Times reported that the Tavy Bridge service was set to close when its funding from Bexley council ended.

Mr Gisby added: "The Kentish Times article really went a long way.

"After it was printed I had a call from our MP John Austin and Bexley council - they wanted to know why we didn't go to them first and arrange a meeting."

Upon its opening in Spring 2011, the centre will offer activities including climbing, water sports, weight training, sound engineering, aerobics, dance, theatre, photography.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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