The Prime Minister yesterday announced £80m worth of funding for two initiatives to support the youth sector, which will be delivered in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund.
A new Youth Investment Fund, with £20m from the government and £20m from the Big Lottery Fund, will be open to projects that target disadvantaged communities.
Funding will be available up to 2020 and the first awards are expected to be made in spring 2017. The government has not confirmed the application criteria, the size of grant which can be applied for, or when applications will be made. More information will be provided by BIG on 20 September.
BIG and the government will also both invest £20m in Step Up to Serve’s #iwill campaign by 2020. Step Up to Serve will launch a fund in November to support projects that encourage young people to develop a habit of volunteering. It will also aim to attract other investors.
Theresa May, Prime Minister, said: “This new funding demonstrates our commitment, and will be a huge boost for youth groups across the country - giving young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunity to gain the experiences and skills they need to succeed in life.”
Rob Wilson, minister for civil society, said: “I want the funds to attract even more investment from a wide range of sources including local organisations, businesses and philanthropists.”
Dawn Austwick, chief executive of BIG, said: “We hope this investment will help build a stronger, more sustainable and more responsive youth sector across England, centred on the ambitions of those it benefits most.”
Charlotte Hill, chief executive of Step Up to Serve, said: “Helping more young people to make a difference in their communities will have the added benefit of increased social cohesion and social mobility, whilst helping young people develop skills to meet the challenges that they face today. This incredible support of funding for youth social action will undoubtedly bring us closer to the campaign goal.”
The National Citizen Service Bill will also be introduced to Parliament this week.