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Arts-centric youth organisations will receive more than £3m from the government's £90m Youth Investment Fund, with the money going to some of the country's most underserved areas.

A permanence by young people at KBSK in Bodmin
KBSK in Bodmin will use its grant to fund a dedicated space for dance, music, education and community events

Shannon Reeves

Organisations that provide young people access to the arts are set to benefit from more than £3m of government funding as part of the latest round of its Youth Investment Fund (YIF).

Totalling more than £90m, the YIF grants announced on 3 February will benefit 140 new or refurbished youth centres, which the government claims will support 19,806 young people and include scout halls, skate parks and gyms.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said investment in “some of the country’s most underserved areas" would "create more opportunities for young people and stop them from falling through the cracks".


Merseyside Youth Association (MYA) Ltd will receive £1.6m, the largest grant for an arts-centric organisation. Its youth arts centre, MYA SPACE in Sefton, offers dance, drama and music to support young people, working with schools and alternative education providers and delivering special educational needs and disabilities projects.

The money will also fund a project to progress its site to net zero, including installing solar panels, improving ventilation, insulation, LED lighting, new windows, and efficient independent heating systems. It will also see the refurbishment of wellbeing rooms and its media studio. 

Meanwhile, KBSK Performing Arts in Bodmin will receive more than £700k. The community interest company aims to reach young people unable to access dance training, working with children and families experiencing financial and social deprivation who struggle with mental health and additional needs, including children who are deaf and partially sighted. 

'Life-changing opportunities'

In 2024, KBSK will build its dedicated space to provide services, including dance, education, youth nights, and workshops.

KBSK Founder and Managing Director Adie Dove said: “I want every young person that has a passion for the arts to access it; I want every young person to have access to a safe and nurturing space that provides life-changing opportunities because every young person deserves that right.

"Our own secure location will be a determining factor to ensure the continuation of the organisation. The youth centre will give KBSK the stability to continue to serve the community and the ability to reach even more young people and families in times of need, providing a space and a sense of belonging for all.

"The £700,000 awarded to KBSK from the Youth Investment Fund will enable KBSK to create this critical facility for Bodmin.

"The space will allow us to continue to work collaboratively with other local organisations and strengthen pre-established relationships with statutory services to ensure the best possible care and outcomes for the community’s most vulnerable young people.

"The new building will be a beacon of light and focal point for young people and families in Bodmin for many years to come."

Other grants from YIF for arts-focused youth organisations include £104k for LOOSE in Halton, £470k for Eloquent Dance Company in Birmingham, £145k for Leicester's Cosmopolitan Arts, £132k for Offshoots in the East Midlands, £125k for The Atkinson in Sefton and £43k for Higher Rhythm in Doncaster.

A headshot of Mary Stone