A POPULAR cafe offering youngsters in Bewdley a place to meet with friends and receive support has been forced to close permanently due to funding cuts.

An announcement on Facebook page 'This is Bewdley' on Monday (January 28) revealed that Bewdley Youth Cafe would not reopen due to 'a lack of funding' to youth services.

The post read: "Unfortunately Bewdley Youth Cafe has had to shut permanently due to a lack of funding.

"We tried our best to keep it going, but it seems that everywhere is experiencing financial cuts and ours is yet another youth service to suffer.

"Thank you to everyone who has supported us, and I'm really sad for the young people of Bewdley.”

The Load Street cafe, set up in 2005, opened before and after school hours for youngsters aged 11 to 18 and also ran sessions during the school holidays.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

It offered a free breakfast to local young people, as well as snacks, drinks and free wi-fi, and provided access to a pool table, games consoles, air hockey and board games.

The announcement of its closure has been met with concern from residents, as well as offers of donations to get the cafe back up and running.

One mum commented: "Gutted. My son enjoyed popping in there after school and meeting friends. Suppose it’s back to hanging around the streets for the youths again where they will be moaned at. Such a shame."

Another wrote: "I’m so pleased my daughter got to go to the youth cafe for a short while. Such a fabulous place for our youngsters to hang out - safe, warm and friendly environment.

"I really hope funding can be found again some day so others can experience the youth cafe."

Bewdley Youth Cafe is said to cost around £30,000 a year to run.