Inspire awarded a life-changing Youth Investment Fund grant

7 August 2023

Inspire has been awarded a transformational Youth Investment Fund grant to renovate and extend its youth service offer to young people across Ipswich. It is very welcome news for young people supported by Inspire who will benefit from the generous funding and means that the Charity will be able to expand its engagement with young people at its home in Lindbergh Road, Ipswich when the project is complete.

Inspire is one of 44 youth projects in England to benefit from a Youth Investment Fund grant, announced by the funder, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the charity Social Investment Business, who is delivering the grant programme in partnership with Key Fund, National Youth Agency and Resonance.

The Youth Investment Fund is part of the Government’s National Youth Guarantee to transform and level up opportunities for young people in England. The Youth Investment Fund, of over £300 million, aims to build, renovate, or extend youth service facilities, providing a minimum of 45,000 additional positive activities for young people between 11 and 18 in the parts of the country where new spaces and new opportunities are most needed.

The Youth Investment Fund grants announced are worth £70 million.

Over £90 million of grants were also announced to 43 youth services in March 2023.  This means that so far at total of over £160 million has been invested in youth services across England and will benefit another 28,500 young people. More grants will be announced later this year.

The Youth Investment Grant will enable youth services like Inspire to transform health, wellbeing, skills, and opportunities for young people. It is a ground-breaking opportunity to prioritise the needs of young people and deliver the life-changing services they need, creating a more equal society for future generations. The Youth Investment Fund grant of £1.3m will safeguard and in turn transform the spaces Inspire has to offer its services for young people. It means work can start on site post Summer 2023 and the service should open its doors to young people by early in 2024.

The new service will create youth owned spaces and save existing youth (sports) provision which would be at risk given the age of the existing facilities, we can continue to provide programmes of support that increase youth participation, deliver high quality provision, develop new projects that respond timely to our young people whilst continuously looking at how we improve accessibility in all that we do. Some of these projects include the development of three brand new spaces to deliver 1-1 and group therapy through our growing Wellbeing service, three incredible spaces that will become a permanent home to our safe spaces project that gives children and young people in our local community access to open access provision. Finally, with a brand-new sports floor in the dome and improved changing and access facilities, the fund gives sustainability to existing sports groups that use the sports dome as well as our own open access sports provision, giving local children and young people the opportunity to take part in different sports for free.

Young people supported by Inspire played a key role in developing this exciting new project. With a commitment to raising aspirations within our young people, Inspire wants to deliver high quality youth work, where young people are a fundamental cog in the design, delivery, and evaluation of the services they deliver. This project is no different and young people accessing existing services have played a key role in influencing how the funding will be best spent.

Welcoming the Youth Investment Fund grant, Andy Crump, Deputy CEO of Inspire said: 

‘’Our Charity continues to be committed to giving children & young people timely access to support that raises aspiration and gives them every opportunity to fulfil potential. This year signifies our 10th year as Inspire and the grant from the Youth Investment Fund will allow us to look forward with great excitement to delivering life changing work with children and young people for the next 10 years.

This announcement will allow our charity to not only safeguard existing youth (sports) provision, but it will also create youth owned spaces to be proud of here at Lindbergh Road. The demand for our services that focus on health and Wellbeing, Education and Personal development continues to increase, and we want to make sure we can provide spaces for those that have access to them to feel safe with every opportunity to think positively about their future.’’

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: 

“I want every young person to have the opportunity to access the kinds of life-changing activities which expand their horizons and allow them to develop vital life skills.”

“These next 44 youth centres will give 12,000 more young people the opportunity to access these activities, building on the first tranche of Youth Investment Fund investment that is seeing new projects like the Alt Valley Communiversity opening in Liverpool.”

“We will make sure every young person has someone to talk to, something to do, somewhere to go.”

Nick Temple, CEO for Social Investment Business, that leads the delivery partnership said: 

“The Youth Investment Fund is all about prioritising the needs of young people in England and creating a more equal society for future generations. It is wonderful to see how the fund is already transforming young people’s opportunities to experience the joy of local youth services designed for, and by, young people. Today’s announcement means another 12,000 young people can access quality, sustainable and accessible youth clubs.”

“It is so exciting to see the first Youth Investment Fund projects open their doors to young people, giving them every opportunity to make friends, have fun, discover their passions, and thrive. And it is just the start: thousands more young people will benefit from new or expanded local youth services, supporting their wellbeing and helping them gain vital skills for life and work.”

Cllr Bobby Bennett, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Equality and Communities, said:

“This is fantastic news for Inspire and the new projects enabled through the fund will create many exciting opportunities for young people in Ipswich. Suffolk County Council is pleased to have supported Inspire in its successful funding bid.”

Find out more about the Youth Investment Fund