A VITAL £258,000 lifeline has been thrown to a community action group in Pendle which faced closure without new funding.

Supporters of Brierfield Action in the Community (BAIC) are celebrating a the cash injection from the Big Lottery Fund.

And the financial help has come just in time for the Colne Road-based organisation as their coffers were due to run dry at the end of March.

Project manager Naheed Ashraf said: “We are lucky to get lottery funding because we would not have survived without it.”

BAIC teamed up with Burnley-based Participation Works on the successful bid, which will secure the future’s venture for at least the next three years.

Grant assistance from local and central government was coming to an end, because of cutbacks, and only Naheed and a part-time worker remained.

But with the lottery boost plans can be drawn up to hire additional workers and build on their community cohesion efforts in Brierfield and neighbouring Reedley.

The former cyber cafe, at the corner of Halifax Road, now looks set to be transformed into a community cafe.

Bob Allen, BAIC chairman, said: “This is tremendous news for the area. Over the next three years we will be encouraging a broad range of local people young and old to get involved.

“For some it will be just about building life skills and confidence for others additional opportunities to help steer the project over the next three years.”

Abdul Haleem, of Participation Works, added: “We feel this is a fantastic opportunity to bring the communities and organisations together to enhance what is already available and start to make a real difference in Brierfield and Reedley.”