Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls have announced a £60 million fund to provide services to young people in the capital.
The £60 million ‘London Youth Offer’ will aim to increase the range of services for teenagers and is part of a package of measures to address concerns over the high levels of child poverty in the capital, increase funding for youth services and target the most deprived and hard to reach young Londoners who are most likely to be victims of crime and at risk of involvement in anti-social behaviour or street gangs.
The £60 million funding package will run over two years, £20 million will come from the Mayor’s London Development Agency and £40 million from the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
The Government’s contribution is part of the substantial investment in places to go and things to do for teenagers announced in the 10 Year Youth strategy, ‘Aiming high for young people’ in July. This money will be made up of cash to fund positive activities for young people and money for the Youth Opportunity and Youth Capital Funds. Funding for other local areas will be announced in due course.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said “the most common complaint that Londoners raise with me, in relation to the quality of life of their children, is that there are just not enough youth facilities any more. This £60 million funding will provide more places to go and things to do for young Londoners right across the capital.
“Just as we have invested in public transport and put police back on the streets, we are now aiming to reverse the decline of facilities for young people. Investment and planning for the future of our city has to include our young people.”
“This funding is not a substitute for the resources already being made available for the delivery of youth work by Government, but should be used to provide additional support and make a real difference to the lives of young people in the capital.”
“With the highest levels of child poverty in Britain, it is vital that every young Londoner is given the chance to fulfill their potential. The funding will give children and teenagers from London’s poorest estates and communities right across the capital opportunities to learn new skills through training, sports and cultural activities.”
Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, said:
“This money will give young Londoners places to go and things to do – but it is about far more than getting them off the streets. Teenagers need to take part in out of school activities to help them develop the life skills they need to get a job and get on – and this is especially important for the young people who might not otherwise get these opportunities.”
“I are delighted to be working with Ken Livingstone to deliver real improvements in the opportunities available for young people after school and at weekends across the capital.”
“Earlier this year we launched a Ten Year Youth strategy for young people and part of that was about giving young people a direct say in how the money is spent in their local areas.”
“That’s why we will be working closely with the Mayor of London, the boroughs and crucially young people in their communities to make a difference and support for the positive work that is already going on in many parts of the capital. I hope this will provide a boost to all of London’s children and young people.”