Government set to spend £300 million on youth clubs - Chichester Shed first to open
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Nearly 20,000 more young people will have access to dance, drama and sport as part of the Government’s latest investment in youth services. There’s 140 more youth centres to be built or refurbished.
The first round of the £300 million funding is backed by over £90 million from the Youth Investment Fund. Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer officially opened The Chichester Shed on Saturday, February 3. It’s the first newly built youth centre funded by this funding.
Lucy Frazer said: “I’ve announced the opening of our first youth club in this phase of funding in Chichester. It's great to be at this first one, but in this charge is £90 million for 140 facilities.
"We know that kids actually want something constructive to do. And we know that if they do that, it also tackles antisocial behaviour. It will also support communities as a whole, that's why youth clubs are so important and that’s why we're building so many of them.
“We're also putting money into guides, scouts into Duke of Edinburgh, mentoring and summer work placements. Youth clubs like this help people get new skills which they can build confidence from. It’s about getting something that appeals to them, gives them passion and something positive to do.
As a kid, I benefited a lot from youth services, that's one of the reasons why I think they're so important. I was a brownie and a guide, I was involved in my local youth club too.
"I know first-hand how that can build your confidence, give you social skills, and just take you to the next phase. That's why I'm proud to be part of the funding, where we're giving so many opportunities to young people so that we have 45,000 people every year by 2027, who will have an opportunity to go to a youth club.”
Nick Temple, CEO of Social Investment Business 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.
"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.”
Sue James, Chair of the Chichester Community Developments Trust said: “This place is for young people of Chichester to have a place that they can really call their own. I think the kids will find it amazing here. Most kids these days get their social interaction via social media. This encourages them to leave their devices at the door and do hands-on things with sports, exercise and other activities.
Olaf, one of the children at the launch of the youth club said: “It’s good to be here, I think this will be a nice place to hang out with friends. I like the biking that they are going to do here too!”