Youth projects receive £7m government investment

Youth projects across the country will receive a share of a £7m investment.

Youth clubs and organisations in sport, arts, film and heritage will receive a share of the funding, which government bosses say will deliver a range of positive activities to help young people develop skills and contribute to their local communities.

The Youth Accelerator Fund was set up last October to address urgent needs in the youth sector and expand existing successful projects run by Sport England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and British Film Institute.

Nicky Morgan, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport said: ‘I’m thrilled this funding will allow even more young people across the country to participate in fantastic activities, whether at their local youth centre or through sport, arts, film and heritage organisations.

‘If we wish to get the best out of all the great talent in our country it is vital that we offer the next generation opportunities to build character and resilience, not just in school but outside the school day.

‘This investment will pave the way for our ambitious, long-term plans to support young people that we will deliver over the next five years.’

UK Youth, the membership organisation for youth clubs in the UK, will distribute £1.15m to run a small grants programme to deliver extra sessions in youth clubs and youth groups across England.

Sport England will receive £1.32m to expand grassroots programmes and offer extra-curricular sport to young people in deprived areas.

National Lottery Heritage Fund will be awarded £1.27m to invest into ‘Kick the Dust’, a project for young people to enjoy, learn and lead heritage-based activities in their communities.

Arts Council England will receive £500,000 to expand its Youth Music programme, supporting music-making for young people in challenging circumstances.

And British Film Institute will be awarded £155,000 to expand its weekly BFI Saturday Clubs to more areas of the country.

Additionally, more than £2m will go towards setting up new Local Partnerships across the country, designed to effectively coordinate and sustain local youth activities.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the Local Government Association’s culture, tourism and sport board, welcomed the investment.

‘This funding will provide a helpful boost to youth projects across the country which can be invaluable in supporting and building trusted relationships with young people during difficult times.

‘Councils are doing everything they can to protect youth services but funding pressures and rising demand for other services means they have had to reduce spending on youth services by more than half since 2010.

‘Councils are best placed to co-ordinate local youth services, working in partnership with other local authorities, stakeholders such as schools, communities and the voluntary sector.

‘We want to continue to work with government to ensure the Spending Review provides sustainable, long-term funding to help councils develop the programmes which improve lives and local youth services.’

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