YOUNG people in Milford Haven will benefit almost half a million pounds in funding, it was announced today.

Big Lottery Fund staff broke the happy news to Milford Youth Matters project co-ordinator Dayle Gibby at their base near the town's leisure centre.

Once he’d recovered from the shock, Dayle said: “This is going to mean so much to the young people we work with, they can’t wait to get started on all the plans we made.”

Nick Hudd, Milford Haven Youth Centre manager, added: "We are grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for affording us an opportunity to expand the support we offer to young people and the wider community.

"The project is a result of a collaborative approach involving many stakeholders in our community, ensuring their wants are central to what will be delivered.”

Milford Youth Matters will use the money to enhance and expand its existing services and the activities it offers such as gardening, woodwork, and bike maintenance.

The whopping sum will also enable the 'buddies café' for people aged 16 to 25 who are not employed, in education or training to continue.

The £436,621 grant will allow the team to introduce new elements - providing job placements and mentoring, support to gain skills in team building, communication and problem solving, budgeting, understanding tenancies, eating well for less and making sense of utility bills.

They will spend their grant over three years.

Derek Preston Hughes, funding manager at the Big Lottery Fund said: “Milford Youth Matters are committed to helping the young people they work with take back control of their lives, not least by encouraging them to take an active role in planning and running the activities we will be funding with them over the next three years.”

A further three projects in Pembrokeshire were also successful in their bids.

Milford Haven School will receive £9,850 to run environmental awareness courses, through a year–long programme of workshops and events for the whole community.

The sum will fund trainer fees, session materials, tools, personal protective equipment, and publicity materials.

Narberth Children and Youth Society applied for funding to run practical gardening and healthy eating sessions aimed at people in poverty.

The £9,900 will fund trees, plants and materials, session tutor costs, tools, publicity and insurance.

Pembrokeshire People First in Haverfordwest applied for £9,624 to run online courses for people with autism and learning difficulties.

The cash will fund six digital needs courses, six internet safety courses, 20 game development sessions, two accredited courses, supervision, marketing, administration and overheads.

These local projects join the 90 communities across Wales celebrating as the Big Lottery Fund awarded £6,492,691.00 of funding in September.

Awards are possible thanks to players of the National Lottery.