Youth Investment Fund

Young people in Buxted celebrate a transformational Youth Investment Fund grant to build a new Scout Centre

1st Buxted (O’Brien’s Own) Scout group has been awarded a life-changing grant to transform its services for young people living in Buxted and surrounding areas.

The Youth Investment Fund grant will enable us to build a completely new space for young people. Our current building is an old army barrack gifted to us in the 1960s, but it is too small and no longer fit for purpose. The new building will be twice the size, completely accessible, have ample storage for our extensive equipment and will be energy efficient.

Crucially, we will be able to increase our capacity to reach more young people. Until now the maximum number we have been able to accommodate at one time was 24. But in the new building we will be able to take in 36 young people at a time. This means there will be an additional 36 places available in the target 11–18-year-old range, and 48 places in the younger age ranges when the project is complete.

Buxted Scouts is one of 140 youth centres 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 aim is to level up and transform opportunities for young people. Grants will enable youth services like Buxted Scouts to contribute to better health, well-being, 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.  

Simon Morley, 1st Buxted Group Scout Leader has said:

The grant from the Youth Investment Fund has come along at the right moment. We’re an incredibly active Group offering an ambitious range of activities to our members. The old building has served us well over the years but was beginning to hold us back and would no doubt have been condemned in a few years’ time. 

“Now the Youth Investment Fund grant means we will not only be able to increase our capacity to support more young people but we feel our future is secure and we can be here for at least another hundred years.”

The total amount of £951,000 will transform Buxted Scout’s services for young people. It means work on the new building can start imminently, and we can open our doors to young people by late 2024. 

The expanded space means children will have room inside for activities and games that need lots of space – usually restricted to outdoors and dry weather – such as pioneering – creating bridges and structures with ropes and poles.

We want to make sure it’s a welcoming space for everyone. We have been working with a special educational needs expert in thinking through how we can make the space welcoming for neurodiverse young people, for example, exploring which colours work best. Sometimes the building can be noisy and overwhelming, so there will be a quieter chill-out zone; a calm space for young people to enjoy. Inclusivity is a core belief of scouts, and so we are making sure the new building will be fully wheelchair accessible with an accessible toilet and plans are in place to make the rooms all on one level. 

A much larger store with roller shutter access will mean we can finally access our kit without the risk of being flattened by toppling stacks of boxes.

About the Youth Investment Fund 

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 services in the parts of the country where new spaces and new opportunities are most needed.  

The Youth Investment Fund grants announced today are worth over £90 million. Over £90 million of grants were also announced to 43 youth services in March 2023, and another £70 million announced to 44 youth centres in August 2023.  This means that so far a total of over £250 million has been invested in youth services across England and will benefit thousands of young people.

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 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 wellbeing, and skills for life and work.  

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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