1st December 2021

Local groups awarded funding for youth support work

Two local groups have been given a significant financial boost from an SWT fund to support youth projects. 

YMCA Taunton and the Conquest Riding Centre have benefitted from the Taunton Youth and Community Centre Fund set up with the proceeds of the sale of land owned by the Taunton Youth and Community Centre (TYCC).

The funds were given in trust to the former Taunton Deane Borough Council by the TYCC trustees in 2013 on the understanding that the money would be ring fenced for capital funding of youth projects in Taunton.

YMCA Taunton will receive £100,000 toward the refurbishment of the roof at their centre in Lisieux Way, Taunton. The funds to refurbish the roof will enable YMCA to continue with their work to support the community such as: youth work programme meeting F2F twice weekly, young carers weekly support group, holiday activities for 7-12-year olds. 

Conquest Riding Centre is to receive £50,000 toward funding the extended student and volunteer kitchen/restroom/classroom at the centre where clients numbered 200 at the last report with 80% being under the age of 25. 

Opportunities include yard care, horse husbandry, therapeutic riding, sensory work which is especially valuable to young people with autism, and other educational and positive reinforcement work. 

The balance of the £300,000 fund was awarded to local groups via smaller grants administered on behalf of the council by the Somerset Community Foundation between 2015 and 2020.

Cllr Chris Booth, Executive Member for Community, said: I am delighted that we have been able to support so many youth groups from this pot over the years and that the remainder of these funds will allow these two well established organisations to continue their excellent work in our area. 

“Taunton Youth and Community Centre was a much-loved asset supporting sports, music, arts and more until its closure. It is therefore very pleasing to see this legacy work finally completed in line with the original aims of the Trustees, bringing to a conclusion the Council’s involvement. I would like to thank everyone involved for their ongoing commitment to young people in our area.”