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Johnny Mercer: Youth groups in Plymouth will benefit from £2.4m grant

February 15, 20240

Youth groups are busy at work in the heart of communities across Plymouth. They break down barriers and unlock opportunities for young people across our city, MP Johnny Mercer writes.


I am thrilled that several groups in Plymouth Moor View have been supported by the third tranche of the Government’s Youth Investment Fund.


Since being elected in 2015, my aspiration has been to improve life chances for young people in Plymouth. Last month, I wrote about how schools in my constituency are excelling – Good and Outstanding Ofsted ratings have risen from 79.3 to 89.65 percent for primary schools and 60 to 80 percent for secondary schools.


It is a record that I am fiercely proud of. Youth groups are the other side of our offer for Plymouth kids, widening access to a range of extracurricular activities outside of school.


The £300m Youth Investment Fund will build or renovate up to 300 youth facilities across the UK over the next two years, with the aim of supporting an additional 45,000 young people per year to access youth facilities. Three groups will benefit from Plymouth City Council ’s £2.4m grant: Honicknowle Youth and Community Centre; Poole Farm; and 1st Crownhill Scout Group.


Youth clubs are one of the most needed services in our city, providing young people with trusted relationships and reducing antisocial behaviour. The Honicknowle Youth and Community Centre will benefit from part of a wider £2,319,463.00 grant to Plymouth City Council, enabling them to extend and renovate their facility and support an additional 55 young people per year.


Poole Farm, a 147-hectares community farm teaching conservation for young people, will benefit from part of a separate £3,463,532.00 grant to Plymouth City Council. This will enable them to renovate the farm and support an additional 100 young people per year.


Plymouth is home to 14 excellent Scout Groups. One of these is 1st Crownhill which organise a vast range of engaging activities – such as learning about water safety with the RNLI or designing robots at a summer club – to stimulate their Beavers, Cubs and Scouts’ personal development. They will receive £36,917.00 to refurbish Endeavour Hall, enabling them to support an additional 30 young people per year.


Each of these groups offer a distinct service but is alike in their shared passion for young people in Plymouth. However, they have been collectively held back by uninviting facilities which limit what activities can be ran.


I hold weekly constituency surgeries in community halls and other similar venues across Plymouth Moor View, so am alive to the challenges which these groups often face with their current facilities. The Government funding will enable them to offer more services to more people than ever before, improving opportunities for our kids at a grassroots level.


I have also been enthused by the efforts of community leaders to open new groups. One notable example is ‘The Den’, a planned youth centre in Ernesettle. I have been grateful to put organisers in contacting with Building Heros, a charity providing veterans with construction skills, and architect plans shared at a recent Ernesettle Community Forum meeting have been superb.


Reinvigorating current and spearheading new youth groups will ensure that our young people are able to fully harness the opportunities available in Plymouth.


As ever, please get in touch via or 01752 876979. Surgeries can also be booked with me through these channels. Furthermore, if you would like to be notified about what I am doing here in Plymouth, including when I next write an op-ed for the Herald, please sign up to my mailing list here.

Luke Jones

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