£300,000 lottery funding secures Stevenage centre future

YMCA Central Herts, the Comet 's 2012 Charity of the Year, will receive £300,000 in lottery funding

YMCA Central Herts, the Comet 's 2012 Charity of the Year, will receive £300,000 in lottery funding - Credit: Archant

A CHARITY will be able to expand its town centre service after a £300,000 cash injection was announced this week.

YMCA Central Herts will receive the money from the Big Lottery Fund to invest in YMCA Space Stevenage over the next three years.

The facility in Stevenage town centre provides a place for people to make friends and learn life skills, as well as offering themed sessions for young people.

Currently Space Stevenage is open to all between 9.30am to 2.30pm every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, alongside some sessions on Saturdays and after-school activities for young people every Thursday.

The extra funding will see the drop-in centre, which opened in May 2011 at the site of the former Edward the Confessor pub, extend its opening hours up to six days a week.

Extra activities and projects across the town will also go ahead, provided the charity can raise £75,000 each year in additional funding.

“This amazing injection of money into the borough will not only secure the future of YMCA Space Stevenage for the next 3 years but will mean a massive expansion in the type, amount and range of opportunities we are able to offer local people,” said Robin Webb, chief executive of YMCA Central Herts, the Comet’s 2012 Charity of the Year.

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“We believe this is a significant investment that will enable us to journey with hundreds of people from across the community.” Leader of Stevenage Borough Council Sharon Taylor added: “We congratulate the YMCA on its success securing this funding and their ongoing commitment to raise vital funds to support this work.

“We have been delighted and impressed with the work and range of activities it has provided across Stevenage over the past two years. The YMCA is a great example of how the voluntary sector can support and deliver services to benefit Stevenage communities at a time when statutory funding is being cut.”