Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

£1.5m new building for Shropshire youth charity after grant win

A Shropshire youth charity is getting a new headquarters – thanks to a £1.5m Youth Investment Fund grant win.

SYA – All About Youth is committed to running youth clubs, groups and projects for young people and support voluntary groups across the county. The charity has received a grant for the new building from the Youth Investment Fund.

The new building will replace the charity’s current headquarters at its site at The New Lodge, Upton Lane, Shrewsbury, with PSG – a subsidiary of Shropshire Council – being commissioned as independent construction consultants to manage the project.

Shropshire Council agreed to a 99 year lease under the capital asset transfer scheme on Wednesday and we have started the planning permission process.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Social Investment Business has announced that SYA is one of the 43 youth services across England that has been awarded a grant to transform and level up opportunities for young people in the first two grant rounds of a Youth Investment Fund of over £300million.  

The funding will enable youth services to transform health, well-being, skills, and opportunities for young people. It is a ground-breaking opportunity to prioritise the needs of young people and for youth services to develop and deliver the life-changing services they need and to create a more equal society for future generations.

Richard Parkes, SYA Chief Executive Officer, said:

“These are exciting times for the charity and this is the best news we could have received. 

“We are committed to extending our range of services over the coming year, making the support we provide accessible to even more young people across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and our new HQ will make that even easier.

“There is no doubt young people across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and beyond have had a difficult time during the pandemic and have missed out on so many opportunities and many haven’t had the chance to learn important social skills during important stages of their youth. SYA is ensuring they get those opportunities and enjoy every second of their journey through what can be difficult years.

“We are absolutely delighted to win the £1.5m grant from the Youth Investment Fund. It has been an essential part of our quest to provide a more suitable and permanent home for us to carry out the work we do. A new base has been a top priority on our to-do list for a while and we are now in a position to proceed.

“It will be built on our present site in Upton Lane and replace the demountable building we’ve been working from.

“We have commissioned PSG to run the build project and they will appoint the builders and other professionals needed to carry out the work. We are also hoping the youngsters who are supported by SYA can be involved in the project and co-design the new building.”

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.

“The National Youth Guarantee will provide these opportunities and support young people with access to regular club activities, adventures away from home and volunteering opportunities. 

“We are supporting this today with an investment to create or renovate spaces for youth clubs and activities to support opportunities for thousands of young people across the country who would otherwise miss out.”

Nick Temple, CEO for Social Investment Business, said:

“Every young person deserves access to high-quality activities and facilities, providing the opportunities to help them thrive. The Youth Investment Fund is helping make that vision a reality, supporting organisations and projects in the areas of England that need it most. 

“It’s been amazing to see the wide range of projects applying to the Fund, and especially how young people have played a meaningful role in shaping those plans. There is a real appetite to develop inclusive, accessible and sustainable facilities that will be there for future generations – and that is reflected in the first set of grants announced today.

“We are hugely excited as work gets underway in places across the country – work that will help transform opportunities for thousands of young people.”

Anna Turner, the Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire and SYA Patron, said:

“These are difficult times for all charities who are so dependent on grants and donations to continue carrying out the important work they do.

“On behalf of SYA, I would like to thank the Youth Investment Fund for the generous grant they have awarded to us – it really is greatly appreciated and will make a huge difference to the charity, to the services SYA can provide and most importantly to the young people who benefit from this invaluable support across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin.”

The Youth Investment Fund forms part of the Government’s ‘National Youth Guarantee’ to ensure every young person across England will have access to regular out-of-school activities, adventures away from home and opportunities to volunteer. 

The Youth Investment Fund, of over £300 million, is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and delivered by Social Investment Business in partnership with National Youth Agency, Resonance, and the Key Fund.  

The Youth Investment Fund has been developed to create, expand, and improve local youth facilities and their services in the out-of-school youth sector, to drive positive outcomes for young people, including improved mental and physical well-being, and skills for life and work. 

Over the next three years, the Youth Investment Fund will fund the building or renovation of 300 youth services and will increase the number of regular positive activities undertaken by young people in the targeted areas by 45,000 per year, by 2026/27.

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