Youth Investment Fund grant awarded to BWD Youth Group

Published Thursday 8 February 2024 at 16:42

Wensley Fold Children’s Centre has been awarded a Youth Investment Fund refurbishment grant of £140 thousand to renovate its youth service offer.

This is welcome news for the Council’s Young Peoples Services (YPS) team and means that they will be able to support another 250 young people per week when the project is complete.

Young people across Wensley Fold and neighbouring wards will have access to new youth spaces on the ground and second floors of the centre. This will include open access youth rooms, game cave, music studios and outside areas to learn bushcraft type skills.

The new centre will offer clubs and more targeted services that help support the most vulnerable young people, whilst also supporting the Councils Start for Life offer – bringing services for families together in one neighbourhood and building.

The funding comes after more than £8m was secured through the Government’s Youth Investment Fund for four projects  (Audley & Queen’s Park Children’s Centre, Darwen Youth Centre, Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone, Shadsworth Hub), across Blackburn with Darwen last year.

 Julie Gunn, Executive Member of Children’s Services and Education said:

The council, its partners and our young people have worked tirelessly to ensure we achieved our aims around YIF Funding. Alongside our other Youth Investment funded projects in Darwen and Audley & Queens Park – the renovation at Wensley Fold offers brand new and improved opportunities for our local YP and further supports our Start for Life commitment to bring services for families together in neighbourhoods and buildings. It’s another exciting development for our local young people. Well done to all concerned and I can’t wait to see young people enjoying the opportunities these developments will present!

The Council’s Young Peoples Services Team is one of 140 youth projects in England to benefit from a Youth Investment Fund grant from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The grants aims to build, renovate, or extend youth services in the parts of the country where new spaces and new opportunities are most needed.

Work is set to start on the site as early as February 2024 and the renovated service is expected to open its doors to young people by May 2024.

Young people supported by YPS and local youth partners played a key role in the application – taking part in consultation events and letting us know what activities they would like to access.

Deputy Youth MP for Blackburn with Darwen, Zainab Shah said:

The youth Forum continuously attended all the YIF consultations, and each application was based on thoughts and ideas gathered by young people across the borough. Wensley Fold is an area where there isn’t a local youth centre and as someone who goes to school near Wensley fold – it will be very much appreciated by the YP that live in and around that area of Blackburn.

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