A BUMPER grant will secure the future of a youth facility for three years.

Members of Corbridge Youth Initiative were this week celebrating receiving a cheque for just under £90,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.

The grant will meet the running costs for the youth organisation – which holds at least six sessions for young people each week on top of one-to-one sessions – for three years, complementing the funding young members generate themselves.

The successful grant application was submitted by Sean Soulsby, the group’s chairman of trustees, and came after years of rejected bids.

He said: “Key to the success of this grant though was the 100 plus young people that currently access our services. It was the evidence of need from them and their views that we collect each year for impact that demonstrated the vital need for youth services like ours in today society.

“Thanks to this grant, we will now be able to ensure that young people living in Corbridge and surrounding areas have access to a variety of weekly youth services for the next three years, giving them a safe space to call their own and offering them information, advice and guidance to any issues they bring.

Gillian Wood, the youth initiative’s project co-ordinator, added: “This is so huge for a small community project, and massive in terms of what the young people can use it for. They don’t just get a service, they come in to hang out and do their own thing and they will be able to do that for at least three more years.

“The young people have got somewhere positive to go and do something positive, so we are more than over the moon with the money. Sean has had a long trial making this happen and we have had various unsuccessful applications, so I was squealing when we got the email.”

Corbridge Youth Initiative, which has a base on Hill Street, runs sessions for children between the school years 5 and 11, and also hosts careers sessions for those aged 16 to 25.

Duncan Nicholson, head of funding for the North-East and Cumbria at the National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We firmly believe that when people are in the lead, communities thrive, so we are delighted to see that young people are driving positive change in Corbridge.

“We use our funding and relationships to help create stronger, more connected communities, and the Corbridge Youth Initiative is set up to benefit young people throughout the village for years to come.”