SUPPORTERS of a Weymouth youth centre are confident that plans for their new centre will go ahead despite government spending cuts.

Youngsters from the Steps club in Chickerell Road have said they are ‘hoping for the best’ after it came to light their new £3million centre is subject to a review.

The government awarded the £3,056,240 grant last year but the funding will not be secured until February 2011 after details are submitted by Dorset County Council.

The grant is being channelled through the Big Fund – part of the National Lottery – but the money is being provided by the Department for Education’s ‘myplace’ initiative.

Dorset County Council’s director for children’s services John Nash revealed at a cabinet meeting it was ‘not certain’ that the grant will continue.

A report considered by the cabinet said the project was agreed in principle but it is still subject to final approval from the Big Lottery Fund and the Department for Education, with evidence of the council’s ‘readiness to deliver’ being submitted by September 27.

The report said that in the current climate there is no certainty until the Department for Education and the Big Lottery Fund confirm the grant formally – which will not be until next year.

Despite this, councillors unanimously agreed to enter into a lease for the Steps site and a planning application is due to be submitted this month.

Mr Nash said: “There is a review going on and it is not certain that this grant will continue.

“However, we have been asked to continue with our preparation and our submissions – that is due in on September 27.”

Cabinet spokesman for children’s services Toni Coombs added: “This project is key to a particular area of deprivation in Weymouth.

“The young people here have been hugely involved and driven the design and application.

“It’s important for them to see this project go ahead.”

Club member Alaska Harris, 17, said members were remaining positive.

She said: “We’re trying to build the new centre to help young people get off the streets and help them to build confidence so it is something important.

“If it doesn’t happen we would all be pretty gutted because we were all really looking forward to it.

“I’m definitely hoping for the best.

“We’ve all worked really hard to get where we are now and I just hope it all works out.”

She added: “I don’t think there is any point in worrying until we’re definitely sure that something is going to happen or not.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “We have not yet made a decision on myplace funding.

“The government is committed to a full comprehensive spending review in the autumn and ministers will shortly be considering their spending priorities, which will take into account all areas of spending, including capital for youth facilities.”