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24 January 2022

Phase 1 Fund applications opening on 31 January and closing by 25 February

The DCMS Youth Investment Fund (YIF) aims to create, expand and improve local youth facilities and their services, in order to drive positive outcomes for young people.  These include improved health and wellbeing, and skills for work, employability and life.  London Youth outlined the envelope of funding that was allocated in 2019 , and reconfirmed in the 2021 Budget and Spending Review.

Children in Need are administering this first phase of the Youth Investment Fund. Phase 1 funding comprises £10 million for youth provision in left-behind areas of England. Funding for small-scale capital projects. Capital is defined as the costs of building improvements, buying equipment (including IT and vehicles) and furnishings.

In London, there are only two London boroughs which are in scope for funding. Alongside the announcement DCMS published its metrics and methodology used to define left-behind areas.  These will be reflected in all future funding opportunities for the YIF.

The two Boroughs are:

  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Tower Hamlets
Our public statement on this announcement

London Youth is sad and disheartened to see huge numbers of deprived young Londoners excluded from DCMS’s Youth Investment Fund (YIF). The visible hallmarks of prosperity in London mask the highest rate of childhood deprivation in the UK and a youth sector decimated by closures – nearly two thirds of London youth clubs – over the last decade.

This is why we’re disappointed to see only two of its boroughs included within the geographical scope of this fund, administered to 95 “left-behind areas of England.” The Levelling up Fund Index from earlier this year included nearly a third of all London boroughs in the first two priority tiers for support.

While the scope of the YIF is clearly more targeted, we are seriously concerned that disadvantaged young Londoners are being forgotten and ignored.

About the funding

Organisations applying for funding need to be working with children and young people, where the majority of the children are aged 11-19 years.  However, where young people have a special educational need, are leaving care, or are considered “at risk” or vulnerable they may also fund up to the age of 25.

Funding requests should mainly involve purchasing equipment rather than undertaking major building work. Note that it cannot be used to cover routine maintenance of assets or like-for-like replacement of existing equipment or anything retrospective costs.

Applications must be for a minimum of £5000 (between £5,000 and £50,000 but larger applications would be considered). If match-funding is required this must be specified on the application form.

Your application may include
  • Installation of green energy solar panels, heat pumps (reducing operational costs)
  • Equipment to improve health and wellbeing, such as outdoor gym equipment
  • IT improvements including software, websites, portals, platforms and new IT equipment
  • Improvements that will allow greater access to service users with disabilities
  • Equipment that will expand and enrich youth activities offered by existing providers, e.g. outdoor sports and activities, kitchen equipment, landscaping
  • Grants for minor facility improvements to improve safeguarding and security for young people e.g. CCTV installations, Improved building security
  • Purchase of vehicles or mobile units, which could be used for detached youth work or as mobile youth centres
  • Changes to existing spaces, e.g. provision of music rooms, arts & crafts, I.T rooms
  • Conversions of underused space into youth facilities.

It is also important that you also look at a wide range of exclusions which are set out in the guidance

More detailed guidance on filling out the application can be found here.

For any questions about this please email our policy manager at clare.macnamara@londonyouth.org

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