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Youth centre fails in TV funding bid

PUBLISHED: 19:00 26 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:45 03 July 2010

A GREAT Yarmouth youth centre was unsuccessful in its bid to secure £50,000 funding from ITV's People' Millions lottery fund for a new centre, despite a last minute push to secure votes involving much of the local community.

A GREAT Yarmouth youth centre was unsuccessful in its bid to secure £50,000 funding from ITV's People' Millions lottery fund for a new centre, despite a last minute push to secure votes involving much of the local community.

The money will instead be going to a Harlow youth centre, after the Essex organisation polled more votes in a public phone-in to decide which charity should receive the money, held yesterday.

The result, announced earlier today, also means the centre will miss out on an extra £10,000 funding which the borough council's cabinet had agreed to give to the centre provided it was successful in its funding bid.

Police, local councillors, youth centre volunteers and Mercury staff united with the call “Bring us the cash” as they distributed leaflets and posters around the town on Wednesday to drum up votes.

Supporters were still distributing leaflets during the switch on of the town's Christmas lights in the Market Place at 7pm.

On Wednesday, the centre's volunteers were on tenterhooks as they waited to hear if they had been successful as people voted for either the Yarmouth bid or a rival application from a Harlow-based youth centre.

Films of the work done by the two centres was shown after an Anglia news bulletin and viewers then phoned up in support of the organisation they wanted to receive the cash.

Wednesday's scenes represented a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the centre, as less than a month ago volunteers contemplated the possibility they would not be able to pursue the bid following a devastating burglary and arson attack at the Jellicoe Road centre in Yarmouth.

However, the community rallied together to replace much of the equipment destroyed or stolen during the fire on October 27, which included electrical equipment and video games.

Carl Harding, secretary of Newtown Youth Centre, praised the efforts of everyone involved in promoting the centre's bid, epitomised by PCSOs who visited schools in the town to drum up support.

He said: “Today has been nothing far short of amazing. It has been carried out and co-ordinated fantastically, the people have responded so well.”

Anyone with information in relation to the arson should phone PC Baxter on 0845 4564567, e-mail sntnorthyarmouth@norfolk.pnn.police.uk or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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