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Rainbow Project funding blow

PUBLISHED: 16:51 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 11:13 08 July 2010

A community project with an ambitious plan to provide state-of-the-art recreational facilities for youngsters in Watton has been dealt a blow after missing out on £5 million of funding.

A community project with an ambitious plan to provide state-of-the-art recreational facilities for youngsters in Watton has been dealt a blow after missing out on £5 million of funding.

Project Rainbow had hoped to secure a share of the £180 million worth of Myplace grants that were being given out to help deliver world class youth facilities.

But the group has been disappointed to learn that it will not be one of the 41 projects across England to benefit from the grants which are being delivered by The Big Lottery Fund on behalf of the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Project Rainbow had wanted to use some of the money to invest in its youth drop-in centre, The Surge, which has proved very popular with the town's youngsters since it opened in December and now has more than 70 members. The project currently rents the building but wants to buy it to secure the centre's long-term future.

It also wanted to invest much of the grant in creating a large activity centre, called The Barn, on the outskirts of Watton which could include attractions such as a climbing wall and skate park as well as rehearsal rooms for bands and performance arts.

The Rev Geoff Garrett, chairman of trustees at Project Rainbow, said: “We are very disappointed not to have received the bid we have applied for.”

But he added: “The project is not dead in the water. We have got to look at other ways of funding Project Rainbow, initially to keep The Surge open which is our first priority now because it has been a very popular place and we are looking at ways we may be able to make it available to all ages in the community, and then to see where we go from here for the other project.

“We are committed to keeping Project Rainbow alive.”

He said that no other funding is currently being applied for but that the people who run Project Rainbow would be meeting this week to assess the situation.

For more information on Project Rainbow visit www.project-rainbow.co.uk

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