Youth groups in hard-up across Northamptonshire are being urged to apply for a share of £368 million of Government ‘levelling up’ cash to improve the health, wellbeing, skills and opportunities for young people.
The Youth Investment Fund is part of a Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport commitment to give youngsters greater access to activities, trips away and volunteering in the most deprived areas.
It will offer funding to build or refurbish up to 300 youth facilities nationwide over the next three years.
Earlier this year, a Northampton community group was awarded nearly £45,000 from the first wave of fund grants.
Leigh Middleton, CEO of the 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.
“The Youth Investment Fund 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.
“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.”
Around £12 million from the fund has already been fast-tracked to local youth services where supply was short of meeting demand.
That included £44,740 for the Northampton-based Community Court Yard, a social enterprise delivering traditional youth work, bespoke alternative education and creative workshops based on the youth work curriculum.
The grant helped fund a vehicle for detached youth work, gaming booth equipment, CCTV and the refit of the gym area. Organisers say it will help build positive behaviour and communication skills for disadvantaged young people.
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.
The fund’s aim was to cover small-scale capital improvements such as providing new laptops to youth groups, small redevelopments of buildings and facilities, and improving transport.
Click the Youth Investment Fund website for information on how to apply.