YOUNGSTERS are celebrating an early Christmas present of £70,000 towards a meeting place of their very own.
The money has been awarded to Barnton Youth Club by Vale Royal Borough Council to help kickstart plans to create a £450,000 youth centre on the Nursery Road Recreation Ground.
The centre, a joint venture between the club and Barnton Scout Group, will provide the centrepiece to the recreation ground which has undergone a big money transformation in recent years.
Youth club spokeswoman Cllr Angela Robinson said they received outline planning permission last year and since then the club has been working with the scout group to draw up detailed proposals and grant applications.
She said: 'The new youth centre will provide some wonderful facilities for the children and young people of Barnton and it's not just for the two groups involved, when not being used by those groups, it will be available to other organisations in the village.
'We have applied to the Big Lottery Fund for the balance of the money we need. We should hear if our application will be considered early in the New Year.
'But this grant is great news - it will take us well into the building stage of the project and is a massive boost to our lottery application.'
The centre will be built next to the new skate park. Facilities will include two main halls, one for the youth club and the other for the scout group, plus other rooms including a coffee bar and television room.
'Our aim is to provide a facility which will appeal to youngsters of all ages,' said Angela. 'At the moment the club meets once a week at the memorial hall but it isn't a place that appeals to teenagers - we seem to have lost most of our older group and we want to get them back. At the moment they are either hanging around the rec or on street corners.'
Cllr John Grimshaw, of the Rural Delivery Steering Group which gave the £69,839 grant, said: 'The proposed new youth centre will be a wonderful development for the people of Barnton. The project will provide fantastic new facilities for the village and a centre for socialising, as well as creating a safe environment for the young people of Barnton to enjoy.'