BOSSES of a youth project have said they are “over the moon” after securing a sizeable grant to safeguard its future.

Hemlington detached Youth Work Project, also known as Linx, has secured £750,000 to extend its work across Middlesbrough.

Linx was established in Hemlington in 1993 and aims to provide support for young people and their families in a variety of areas of their lives, including training and education, sexual health, alcohol and drug misuse, emotional wellbeing, and criminal and antisocial behaviour diversion.

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The announcement is part of a £40m hand-out from the Big Lottery Fund and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to help youth organisations across the country boost the skills and life chances of young people in disadvantaged areas.

Kul Peacock, director at Linx, said: “We are all over the moon - it is a great achievement for Linx and a major investment in young people in Hemlington and a new generation of young people.

“It was a nervous wait for the decision – there is a lot at stake here as this new money is set to replace mainstream support for youth work in Middlesbrough.

“This is a big vote of confidence in Linx, too, and our ability to deliver ‘open access’ youth work across the town."

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “This is terrific news, and a huge vote both in the work Hemlington Linx already does and the potential it has to change lives in the future.

“This funding will enable Linx to expand the invaluable services it provides to young people across the town, and will benefit a great many who might otherwise have missed out.”

Dawn Austwick, Big Lottery Fund Chief Executive, added: “The Youth Investment Fund is a welcome boost for the many great community organisations that work with young people locally.

“Money raised by National Lottery players creates opportunities for young people to build on their talents and strengths and the Youth Investment Fund is an important part of the jigsaw."