Barcode's big lottery win

A HUGELY successful youth cafe in Weston which was saved from closure just a few months ago has been given a massive cash boost

A HUGELY successful youth cafe in Weston which was saved from closure just a few months ago has been given a massive cash boost.Youngsters, volunteers and staff at Barcode in South Parade are celebrating after hearing the under 18s venue has been handed more than £358,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.The facility, which was set up by Weston Town Council and youth council in 2005, will receive four instalments, one each year. The first will come to just over £97,000 followed by three grants of about £87,000. The extra cash means that Barcode will be able to keep running for years to come.Weston Town Council leader, Keith Morris, said: "Barcode is an undeniable success, not only providing a valuable entertainment venue for young people when they want it most - evenings, weekends and school holidays - but also working with the police and other organisations addressing many social issues of today."I am delighted that Weston Town Council has secured this significant Lottery funding."The money will be used to employ another member of staff and some of the cash will also be used to pay for running costs.Barcode has been recognised by Government ministers and held up as an example to other councils across the country who have opened their very own youth cafes.In March the Weston & Somerset Mercury helped launch a campaign to save Barcode.Youngsters impassioned by the thought that that the facility could close, carried placards saying 'Save Our Barcode' to a meeting at Weston Town Hall to decide the fate of the youth cafe. Weston Town councillors voted unanimously in favour of extending the lease by 10 years which means it will now run to 2017 with a break clause in 2015. Weston & Somerset Mercury editor, Judi Kisiel, who sits on the youth cafe's management board, said: "Town council clerk Linda Larter has been the driving force behind the lottery bid. "We should recognise the efforts she has made in making sure youngsters can enjoy the youth cafe for many more years.

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