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YOUNG PEOPLE ACROSS FLEETWOOD RECEIVE LIFE-CHANGING BOOST THANKS TO £1M YOUTH INVESTMENT FUND GRANT

A YOUTH hub being created to transform young people’s lives in Fleetwood is today celebrating being awarded a £1m Youth Investment Fund grant.


Fleetwood Trust has been awarded the grant to create The Youth Hub, Fleetwood to help young people gain confidence and skills to enjoy a brighter future.


The money will be used to renovate the former Fleetwood Hospital building on Pharos Street and transform part of The Hub Fleetwood community space into a thriving and vibrant facility for young people.


The Youth Hub will be part of the phased redevelopment of the former NHS hospital building led by The Fleetwood Trust. It will deliver much needed youth services for young people in Fleetwood and the wider community.


Planning consent for the redevelopment work was secured in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation in November 2020 and since then the first two phases of work have seen new tenants, charity partners and new community facilities established within the building.


The trust is already working in partnership with the NHS, Blackpool & Fylde College, The Pantry Food Bank, Regenda Homes, Healthier Fleetwood, Macmillan Cancer and other groups and local businesses who will have a presence in the community-focused building to provide a wide range of services and opportunities.


The Youth Hub has been designed so that it will be an integral part of The Hub Fleetwood building, but with a dedicated entrance so that it can operate separately as required.


Welcoming the Youth Investment Fund grant, Chairman of the Fleetwood Trust, Fylde-born Lord Tom McNally said: “I am grateful to our Chief Executive, Charley Wilkinson, and all who have helped her, in putting together this successful bid. “Working in partnership with the young people of Fleetwood themselves, the Fleetwood Trust will use this funding to help meet their needs and priorities. It also means that the Fleetwood Trust has a significant building block in place towards the creation, at the old Fleetwood Hospital, of a multi-service hub which will meet the needs and priorities of all the people of Fleetwood."


With the funding now in place, Fleetwood Trust hopes to be able to open the doors to the new centre next year and complete the revamp by 2025.


Trust CEO Charley Wilkinson said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant which recognises what we are aiming to achieve. I am thrilled to be able to bring this amazing opportunity to Fleetwood and its young people. We hope its impact will be felt for generations to come.”


Fleetwood-born trust board member JJ Fitzerald, Managing Director of construction company Evolution which aims to transform people’s lives through better housing and providing career and training opportunities, including for young people who have had a tough start in life, said: “This grant is transformational for Fleetwood and young people living in this town. By working together as a community we can empower young people, giving them the chance to build their confidence and skills to achieve their ambitions and providing them with pathways to opportunities which will help change their lives. It’s fantastic news for the whole community.”


Lee Donner, director of Mason Gillibrand Architects who are working on the project, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of the brilliant team that has successfully secured funding for the new Youth Hub facility at The Hub Fleetwood. This new facility will make a real difference to the lives of young people in the town. The team at Mason Gillibrand Architects look forward to moving the project to the construction stage and to see even more of the former Fleetwood Hospital building making a positive impact within the community, adding to the services already available there.”


Fleetwood Trust is one of 44 youth projects in England to benefit from a Youth Investment Fund grant, announced today by the funder, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the charity Social Investment Business, which 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, aged between 11 and 18, in parts of the country where new spaces and new opportunities are most needed. Its grants announced today are worth £70 million.


Over £90 million of grants were also announced to 43 youth services in March 2023. This means that so far a 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 organisations like Fleetwood Trust 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. 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.”

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