THE team at YMCA Somerset Coast say they are 'over the moon' after landing £750,000 in funding from the National Lottery and the Government.

The money was announced as part of £40 million package for youth clubs and services aimed at helping more than 300,000 disadvantaged children across the country.

Somerset Rural Youth Project also landed £577,000 and Robin Sealey, community programme manager for Bridgwater YMCA, said a key part of the bid's success was Somerset services working together to ensure bids did not overlap but there was still comprehensive coverage.

Mr Sealey said: "We are over the moon, it is funding that will help us deliver more youth work related activities for children, beyond what we can currently offer.

"We are looking to expand out 'detached work', this is street-based youth work around places like the town centre or where young people are meeting.

"A lot of the work we do with young people at the YMCA is preventative. We give them somewhere safe they can go and express themselves.

"They are then not hanging about on street corners or carrying out anti-social behaviour. At its core it is rather simple, we offer a place to go, things to do and people to talk to."

The George Williams Centre at Bridgwater has a climbing wall, multi-use indoor hall which can cater for the likes of badminton and archery, there is paddleboarding and kayaking available too among much more.

Mr Sealey also said he hoped the money would help work with schools, more holiday programmes and help utilise the residential centre at the Campbell Rooms out on the Quantocks.

The government's Youth Investment Fund will be shared between 86 youth trusts across six disadvantaged areas in England, to help young people gain confidence and work skills.

Minister for Civil Society, Tracey Crouch said: "This investment from the Government and National Lottery players will have a transformational effect on the lives of some of our most disadvantaged young people.

"It will help thousands who might otherwise have gone under the radar flourish. Local voluntary and community youth organisations already do so much fantastic work and this £40 million will enrich the lives of many more young people throughout England."

Research published by Unison, the public services trade union, revealed that youth services lost at least £60 million in funding between 2012 and 2014 and over 2,000 jobs were lost.

Based on an FoI request to 188 local authorities, it found that in the same period 350 youth centres closed and 41,000 youth services places for young people were cut.