AMBITIOUS Government plans aimed at delivering world-class places for young people are to be tried out in the West Midlands.

Walsall and Stoke on Trent are among just 21 successful bids across the country for funding to provide places for young people to go.

In total, almost £62 million of fast-track funding will be awarded to the successful bidders, Children’s Secretary Ed Balls has announced.

It represents the first wave of funding from a pot close to £202 million to provide exciting safe places for young people and where they can take part in a wide range of positive activities.

The BIG Lottery Fund will oversee the projects to ensure young people get exactly what they want, including £4.8 million for Stoke on Trent and more than a million pounds for Walsall.

The Young Person’s Village project in Stoke will renovate and add to an existing YMCA building, to include a sports hall, library and basement areas beneath residential blocks to provide additional training and exhibition facilities.

The Green Rivers Centre, in Bloxwich, Walsall, receives £1.287 million to help build a new facility for young people aged 11 to 18 that includes a sports hall for racquet sports, dance, boxing and martial arts.