Youth Space's Fund opens for local communities

  • The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), with the Violence Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU), has launched a new fund for Bedfordshire. The Youth Space’s Fund 2021/2022, which seeks to improve shared community environments for young people in Bedfordshire.

The OPCC has a fund available of £28,000.00 to support projects throughout Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton that Town and Parish Councils can bid into.   
The funding can be used by Town and Parish councils for a wide range of projects that would improve locations for young people with the ambition of deterring them from unsafe spaces or by investing in areas where young people can socialise in safety.
Grant fund applications of no more than £5k per are welcomed between the 19th of April and the 7th of May 2021. Bidders are encouraged to match fund where possible.
Examples of areas that will be considered are the remodelling of Youth Hubs to provide safe and secure spaces for young people to build confidence and long-lasting friendships. The improvement of outside spaces to attract young people or spaces that need better securing which are currently not safe or appropriate for young people to be, such as crime hot spots.
The decision making on winning bids will be made by young people themselves. Kimberley Lamb Project Manager for the VERU said “We want to give local community leaders the power and financial backing to make a difference and improve where they live for the benefit of young people in their community.
“Young people know best what will work and what interests them, so it is brilliant that they will have the final say on what gets funded.
“Some of the projects from last year had a superb impact and we hope to achieve even more this year, especially as we start to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Chief Executive for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Clare Kelly said “We ran a similar initiative this time last year and watching what the Town and Parish councils were able to do with those pockets of money directly for the young people of their communities has been incredibly encouraging to see. We look forward to further partnership working with this year’s fund as we support our young people by offering stability, structure and safe spaces.”