Money from £500m Youth Investment Fund will be available to charities

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, tells the Conservative Party conference that the fund will support young people into work and build new youth centres

(Photograph: SolStock/Getty Images)
(Photograph: SolStock/Getty Images)

Charities will be able to apply for funding from a new £500m Youth Investment Fund, which was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer this week, Third Sector understands.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference on Monday, Sajid Javid said the fund would help support young people into work and build new youth centres across the UK.

Third Sector understands that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will be tasked with delivering the fund and that charities will be involved in parts of the programme.

Further details released by the government said the funding would go towards the creation of 60 new youth centres, refurbish 360 existing youth facilities and provide more than 100 mobile youth facilities for harder-to-reach areas.

Support for the provision and coordination of services for young people and investment in the youth workforce are also both within the remit of the new fund.

Further details on how the fund will work are expected to be announced by the DCMS in due course.

Figures released by the Local Government Association last year showed that, between 2012 and 2016, 600 youth centres and 139,000 youth service places were lost in the UK.

Javid said in his speech to the conference: "Not all parents feel that their children will have it better than they did. We need to do more to level the playing field between regions and generations and give all young people the best start in life.

"Last year I announced the Youth Endowment Fund helping at-risk young people get off the conveyor belt to crime. And I can announce today a new Youth Investment Fund.

"This ambitious £500m programme will roll out youth centres and services right across our country, helping millions more young people get on the conveyor belt to a better life and career."

Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, chair of the British Youth Council, welcomed the new funding for youth services.

"Young people should have access to youth services, regardless of where they live," she said.

"We’ve been asking the government to recognise the value of youth services for almost a decade because so many young people rely on these services.

"We know that young people face a multitude of issues. Youth services can play an integral role in creating a fairer, safer and stronger environment for young people."

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