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14 February 2024

Over £90 million in Youth Investment Fund grants will give more young people life-changing opportunities

Over £90 million in Youth Investment Fund grants announced for 140 youth centres, which means nearly 20,000 more young people will benefit.

Youth Centres and young people will be celebrating a Youth Investment Fund grant today. Over £90 million in Youth Investment Fund grants announced today will transform youth services in some of the country’s most underserved areas of England, creating new life-changing opportunities for thousands of young people.

Youth Investment Fund grants, from a fund worth over £300 million, will benefit another 140 youth projects across England, and nearly 20,000 additional young people can look forward to having fun, making new friends, and gaining new skills, as well as having a trusted adult to talk to outside home and school. Today’s announcement includes over £82 million in large capital grants alongside over £8 million in smaller refurbishment grants, created to enable smaller grassroots youth organisations as well as larger facilities to benefit from the fund and renovate their spaces. Grants have been awarded to youth provision of every shape and size, from renovated scout huts to arts and heritage spaces for the community.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Frazer marked the occasion, meeting young people at a ribbon cutting celebration at the Chichester Shed, the first Youth Investment Fund new build youth centre to open its doors. The Culture Secretary got to see the youth work in action in their new home, as young people enjoyed skateboarding, DIY skills, music, and a well-being yoga workshop. The Chichester Shed youth centre run by Chichester Community Development Trust, based in a deprived and under resourced area, will create a safe haven for young people.

Welcoming Lucy Frazer, Clare de Bathe, CEO for the Chichester Community Development Trust says:

“The building of the Chichester Shed will provide an informal, dynamic and versatile space where young people can connect, learn and experience new activities. The space will be a haven for all ages and backgrounds to use throughout the school day and holidays, including intergenerational activities where boundaries can be broken down as well as adult education sessions and group workshops delivered. The Youth Investment Fund grant has enabled the project ideas to be brought to a reality and we cannot wait to open the doors!”

“I want to see every young person have someone to talk to, something to do, and somewhere to go outside of the classroom, no matter where they are from, to help maximise their potential in life. This next round of funding from the Youth Investment Fund will help nearly 20,000 more young people achieve this goal. We have now committed to building or refurbishing over 220 projects in some of the country’s most underserved areas, creating more opportunities for young people to gain the skills needed to succeed in life and stopping them from falling through the cracks.”

Lucy Frazer – Culture Secretary

The funding announced today, together with Youth Investment Fund grants worth £160 million announced last year, means that over £250 million has been invested so far in youth projects giving more young people life-changing opportunities to have fun, make friends, explore their passions, and develop new skills for life and work.

The Youth Investment Fund is funded by the UK Government, delivered by Social Investment Business in partnership with Key Fund, National Youth Agency, and Resonance.

“The Youth Investment Fund is transforming the youth service landscape right across the country, enabling youth centres of all shapes and sizes to enhance their services and reach more young people. It’s very exciting to see the first Youth Investment Fund new build open its doors to Chichester’s young people today. Before securing the funding, these young people had nowhere safe to go, and nothing to do after school. Young people now have a brand-new youth centre, inspired by their ideas and needs, giving them every opportunity to thrive and discover their passions. The Youth Investment Fund is truly unlocking potential and creating a legacy for future generations of young people in communities like this across the country.”

Nick Temple – CEO Social Investment Business

Youth Investment Fund grants are creating youth centres designed for young people, by young people. Every project that is awarded funding is assessed to see how their youth work offer can be supported to meet the quality standards set by the NYA through the implementation of individual development plans. Last year the NYA recruited and trained 17 Young Assessors to help narrow down applications and decide where funds should be allocated. Now that the assessment process has ended, the NYA has recruited a team of 11 young people, known as Youth Project Assessor Mentors, who are helping to ensure the projects will deliver high quality services that will truly benefit the young people in the communities they are based.

Leigh Middleton, Chief Executive, National Youth Agency, added:

“The Youth Investment Fund grants are set to make a radical transformation in communities of particular need, enabling them to improve and grow their existing provision for young people so that they can access activities to improve their health and wellbeing; explore their identity and rights; as well as forge new friendships and have fun.”

“Youth Clubs are a vital part of the youth ecosystem providing the support of a trusted adult outside the school gates. Through the work we are doing to build the skills and competencies of these funded projects, through the adoption of our standards and frameworks, we hope to see many more young people who might otherwise slip through the cracks in statutory provision reap the benefits of high-quality youth work.”

The funded projects announced today include activities for young people such as dance, drama, sport, music, art, digital projects, outdoor adventures, skateboarding, swimming, catering, horticulture, and craft, as well as new opportunities to gain training and skills for life and to support their future employment and development. There’s even funding for developing an existing lido in Plymouth, connecting it with a cove, a place where young people can swim and chill out with their friends, and funding for the Sea Scouts to safely explore the Norfolk Broads in canoes, boats, and rafts.

Social Investment Business has published a full list of youth centres benefiting from the Youth Investment Fund today. You can read more about some of the youth centres awarded a grant here.