Youth and play grants set to be awarded

A total of £1 million is set to be awarded to voluntary and community groups in Liverpool to run youth and play projects over the next year.

A report to the Cabinet is recommending that 26 projects are granted funding to run schemes including youth clubs, play schemes and educational activities and workshops.

Funding has also been given to run a number of city-wide targeted play projects for groups working with young people with disabilities and facing discrimination. They include Calder Kids, the Young Persons Advisory Service and Merseyside Play Action Council.

The aim of the ward-funded projects is to provide somewhere for young people to go at evenings and weekends, in school holidays and at half term. Funding has been targeted at poorer areas and the majority of it has gone to consortiums which bring together different organisations. This has helped lever in additional funding from other sources such as housing associations, the Mayoral Neighbourhood Fund for ward councillors and charities.

Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Steve Munby, said: “This is the culmination of several years work developing a more joined up approach to working with young people at a local level.

“Instead of groups competing for funds, and clubs opening and closing on the same nights we’ve worked to provide a more comprehensive service.

“The grant is less than it used to be, but we’ve been able to lever in new funds at ward level, which more than offsets the reduction.

“Groups will be working together more closely in providing activities for young people ranging from providing a safe place to go after school or in the holidays to expanding horizons with access to sports and cultural activities.

“We’re also providing a degree of stability with the funding committed for the next two years and in principle for the third.”

Local housing associations have been a key partner in the new approach, particularly Liverpool Housing Trust (LHT), Plus Dane, South Liverpool Housing (SLH), Riverside Housing and Cobalt. They have made generous donations to the pooled budgets and are operating as the ‘bankers’ for the majority of the consortium.

The report will be considered by the Cabinet on Friday 20 March.