Home Children and Young People Successful funding bid for Youth Services
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Successful funding bid for Youth Services

by Emily Maguire

Knowsley Council has secured a share of £300m in government funding to improve youth services in the borough.

The Youth Investment Fund (YIF) was set up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport,  to create, expand and improve local youth facilities and their services, in order to drive positive outcomes for young people, including improved mental and physical wellbeing, and skills for life and work.

Since the fund was launched in August 2022, the Council has been working closely with community organisations alongside One Knowsley and Merseyside Youth Association to support them in bidding for investment. The funding can be used for new or renewed facilities that will deliver additional positive activities for young people aged 11-18 (up to 25 for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).

Four submissions made by the Council have received funding totalling more than £3.7m*

Tower Hill Amateur Boxing Club in Kirkby will receive over £1.66m to complete major renovations, including an extension to the current building, a new roof and windows, an outdoor activity space with lighting and a mindfulness cabin.

Halewood Youth and Community Centre will access more than £700,000 to replace their roof, upgrade heating and ventilation systems and replace the entrance doors.

Karma in the Community in Mosscroft, Huyton were awarded just over £420,000 to remodel rooms and refurbish the toilets, install a new sustainable heating system, replace windows and doors and install a new flat roof covering.

And Southdene Community Association in Kirkby will receive over £1m to build a single-story extension to provide flexible space, complete an LED lighting upgrade and make external improvement to the building.

In an earlier phase of the funding, L14 Community Centre in Huyton was awarded over £835,000 from the YIF, and works have commenced on upgrading their facilities. This includes the construction of a single-story extension which will provide a separate entrance to the multi-purpose facility at the GATE community building on Princess Drive

Once complete, these works will allow young people to participate in recreational, vocational and social activities that will aim to improve  employability, reduce  anti-social behaviour and improve  inclusion in priority wards and neighbourhoods of Knowsley. Additionally, the refurbished community centre will also attract inward investment to drive its future sustainability.

The bidding process was supported by One Knowsley, the leadership organisation for Knowsley’s Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector who identified and mobilised the opportunity and were involved it its pre-construction grants process for the four successful projects.

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said:

“We know from talking to our residents how much they value services and support for our young people. We also know that delivering effective youth services can so often be stifled simply by not having functional, safe and well-equipped locations to host those services. The Youth Investment fund specifically targets that problem, giving organisations the opportunity to improve buildings and facilities in order to improve the services available to Young People.

“I am delighted that we have been able to support some wonderful community organisations with bids for funding and that we were successful in securing support for all the projects we submitted. As a result, four projects in Knowsley will benefit from a share in this fund and I can’t wait to see the lasting impact that improved youth services will have on Knowsley’s young people.”

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.”

Nick Temple, CEO for Social Investment Business, that leads the delivery partnership 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 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.”

Racheal Jones, Chief Executive Officer for One Knowsley said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding for the borough which will have a significant impact on the lives of young people. It’s a testament to the power of collaborative working.”

About the Youth Investment Fund

The Youth Investment Fund forms part of the Government’s ‘National Youth Guarantee’ to ensure every young person across England will have access to regular out of school activities, adventures away from home and opportunities to volunteer. The Youth Investment Fund, of over £300 million, is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and delivered by Social Investment Business in partnership with National Youth Agency, Resonance, and the Key Fund.

The Youth Investment Fund has been developed to create, expand, and improve local youth facilities and their services in the out of school youth sector, to drive positive outcomes for young people, including improved mental and physical wellbeing, and skills for life and work.

Once completed the Youth Investment Fund will fund the building or renovation of 300 youth services and will increase the number of regular positive activities undertaken by young people in the targeted areas by 45,000 per year, by 2026/27.

Visit www.youthinvestmentfund.org.uk

*Funding specifics for Knowsley

Tower Hill Amateur Boxing Club has been awarded £1,661,755.

Halewood Community Centre has been awarded: £737,011

Karma in the Community has been awarded £422,281

Southdene Community Association has been awarded £1047,338

L14 Community Centre has been awarded £835,889