The Youth Investment Fund is offering the funding to help improve young people’s health, wellbeing, skills and opportunities. Youth services across 45 local authorities and more than 600 district wards with poor provision across England are encouraged to apply.
This is the second phase of the fund, which will provide funding to build or refurbish up to 300 youth facilities over the next three years – safe spaces where young people can socialise and participate in activities, including those designed to help support them into employment.
Social Investment Business (SIB) and the National Youth Agency are partnering on the fund’s design and delivery. SIB will directly distribute £283 million capital funding and £58.9 million resource funding to successful projects. £5 million capital funding will be distributed by DCMS. The remaining funds will be used to deliver the programme.
The funding forms part of the Government’s ‘National Youth Guarantee’ to ensure every young person right across England will have access to regular out of school activities, adventures away from home and opportunities to volunteer backed by a £560 million investment.
This guarantee also includes offering The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to every state secondary school for the first time, as well as increased access to social action projects or the opportunity to meet new people and learn life and work skills like money management or public speaking skills through the National Citizen Service.
Nick Temple, CEO of Social Investment Business, said:
“All young people deserve access to high-quality youth services and great youth facilities to thrive in life, but youth provision across the country is sadly unequal. That’s why we’re proud to be able to apply our 20+ years’ knowledge and experience of grant programmes and capital projects to design, manage and deliver the Youth Investment Fund.
“Working alongside our partners National Youth Agency, Key Fund and Resonance, we’ll enable up to 300 youth facilities to be built or refurbished over the next three years. This is a wonderful opportunity to prioritise the needs of young people in England and create a more equal society for future generations.”
Phase 1 saw £12 million from the fund fast-tracked to local youth services in need to help cover small-scale capital improvements such as providing new laptops to youth groups, small redevelopments of buildings and facilities, and improving transport, such as providing a new minibus for a youth club.
BBC Children In Need was the grant administrator for the first phase of the Youth Investment Fund and distributed funding to some 418 eligible youth projects in the most in-demand areas which included:
The Community Court Yard in Northampton, which was awarded a grant of more than £44,740 to fund a vehicle for detached youth work, gaming booth equipment, CCTV and the refit of the gym area, and IMO (Inspire, Motivate, Overcome) Charity in Blackburn and Darwen, which received a grant of £32,155 to help fund equipment and furnishings for a new Youth Hub.
Leigh Middleton, CEO, National Youth Agency, said:
“High quality, universal youth provision supports all young people to have somewhere safe to go, to socialise and learn new skills, with a trusted adult who is skilled and trained to support them.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Social Investment Business on the design and delivery of the Youth Investment Fund. This provides much needed investment for youth centres and dedicated spaces for young people to go in their communities, as part of the government’s National Youth Guarantee.
“Working with SIB, youth sector partners and young people directly, our shared aim is to ensure the funding enables high quality youth work which will have the best outcomes for young people, and for communities to thrive.”