20,000 more young people to access new and renovated youth clubs

Young people set to benefit from 140 new or refurbished youth centres thanks to latest funding round from the Government's Youth Investment Fund of £90 million

  • Nearly 20,000 more young people will have access to dance, drama and sport as part of the Government’s latest investment in youth services
  • 140 more youth centres to be built or refurbished backed by over £90 million from the Youth Investment Fund 
  • Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer officially opens The Chichester Shed - the first new build youth centre funded by the Youth Investment Fund 

Young people in villages, towns and cities across England are set to benefit from 140 new or refurbished youth centres thanks to the largest funding round to date from the Government’s Youth Investment Fund. 

Totalling more than £90 million, funding announced today (3 February) will support nearly 20,000 more young people per year to access new state of the art facilities such as workshop spaces, sports halls, art rooms, recording studios and skateparks. 

Activities ranging from dance, drama and music to sport, horticulture and employment skills development will be on offer, giving young people access to opportunities that broaden their horizons. 

Today also marks a major milestone with the very first new build youth centre funded by the Youth Investment Fund opening its doors.

Located in a deprived area with high levels of antisocial behaviour, The Chichester Shed has used a grant of over £420,000 to build a brand new space to support more than 120 young people. The open access service will provide a space to relax and learn new skills, with activities including woodworking, yoga and skateboarding available.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said:

"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."

The Youth Investment Fund has now allocated £250 million of its more than £300 million budget to services in areas of the country where need is high and provision is low. 

It will engage young people most in need, including those that might have otherwise been at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or falling out of education, training or employment.  

This is the latest announcement that forms part of the Government’s ambition to make sure young people are supported with positive and engaging opportunities both in and outside of school hours.

Clare de Bathe, CEO of Chichester Community Development Trust said: 

"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 funding has enabled the project ideas to be brought to a reality and we cannot wait to open the doors."

Examples of other youth centres receiving grants in this funding round include:

  • Bodies in Motion, Pendle - a combined grant of over £1.4 million will pay for the refurbishment of Orchid House Gym with new changing facilities and equipment, supporting 290 additional young people a week. The Garden Project will create a community-focused garden and greenhouse facility, engaging an additional 400 young people through therapeutic horticultural activities to promote a sense of wellbeing.
  • Youth Options, Southampton - a new community café and training centre, backed by £1.2 million investment, will provide a safe haven for nearly 100 additional young people a week in a disadvantaged part of the city.The café will offer training in catering and hospitality, and will be targeted at those not in education, employment, and training, while the indoor space will be transformed to create new activity space and a counselling room.
  • Positive Futures, Liverpool - The Positive Futures hub will be expanded to provide a sensory room, music rooms, art space, large sports hall and virtual reality spaces to support 250 additional young people a week. 
  • Tinside Cove and Lido, Plymouth - two listed buildings at the Tinside Lido will be renovated to  provide space for nearly 300 more young people a week to benefit from new training and educational programmes, while the lido will be used for swimming, snorkelling, diving and life-saving classes. 
  • Weymouth West Air Scouts, Weymouth - The Scouts building will be refurbished with a new shower room, extended kitchen and three breakout rooms, doubling the building’s size and enabling them to run multiple activities at the same time. The project will support nearly 80 more young people a week. 

Nick Temple, CEO of Social Investment Business said:

"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 newbuild 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."

Denise Hatton, Chair of Back Youth Alliance said: 

"We are delighted that nearly 20,000 young people will be able to access new and refurbished youth clubs through the latest instalment of the National Youth Guarantee. With mental health, loneliness and anti-social behaviour all on the rise, now more than ever young people need a safe space to go, a trusted adult to speak to and access to positive activities in their communities all year round."

Ruth Marvel, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), said:

"This multi million-pound investment is so much more than skateparks, sports halls and art rooms. It’s an investment in the resilience, confidence and independence of young people, which thanks to the on-going impact of a pandemic and cost of living crisis, has never been more needed.

"We at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award know first-hand that when you invest in young people, there is no limit to what they can achieve. The government’s National Youth Guarantee has brought the DofE to thousands of young people in England for the first time, breaking down barriers and providing life-shaping activities and volunteering opportunities."

Today’s announcement forms the latest part of the Government’s ‘National Youth Guarantee’, that will ensure every young person aged 11-18 in England has access to regular clubs and activities, adventures away from home, and volunteering opportunities by 2025, backed by an investment of over £500 million. 

The National Youth Guarantee will provide greater access to activities such as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and the National Citizen Service, and uniformed youth groups such as Scouts, Girlguiding, and Cadets.

To further support giving young people the best start in life, in September 2023 the Government announced the opening of the second phase of the £19 million Million Hours Fund, designed to create more than one million additional hours of youth centre provision in areas with high numbers of antisocial behaviour incidents.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport
The Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP