Big Lottery Fund
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Multi-millions mean North London youth get top new places to be

New state-of-the-art youth facilities in Enfield and Camden are all set for take off after the success in their bids for millions of pounds of funding from myplace, a Government scheme run by the Big Lottery Fund.

The myplace programme is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and delivered by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG). It is funding world-class projects across England that are working to create safe places for young people to go where they can engage in a wide range of activities and get information and advice from people they trust.

The Trinity at Bowes (TAB) Centre Plus project in Enfield is receiving £2,168,228 to refurbish an existing building to provide a sports hall with semi-sprung floor, an interactive gym space and a sprung floor dance studio.

The project which will open seven days a week will upgrade the centre to include adding new rooms to provide changing rooms and showers, a computer area and a sound-proof media suite for singing, drama and photography. Young people will also have access to counselling and advice sessions as well as courses in sports leadership and volunteering opportunities.

Revd David James, from TAB Centre Plus said: “We’re delighted to receive funding from myplace, which is vital to our plans. Working with several partners in Enfield, we hope to provide sports and physical activity in a safe, community-focused space that will be flexible to allow for changing trends in young people's interests.

“This centre will be a forerunner of a new type of activity centre that will motivate young people and their families to participate in local activities which promote health and well-being, assist community cohesion and develop trust and friendships.”

The New Horizon Youth Centre in Camden has been awarded £1.5million and will benefit youth across London but will primarily target young homeless and vulnerable people aged 16-21.

The extension of the existing youth facility will offer high quality and expanded IT training facilities, a medical room with shower and laundry amenities, performance arts activities, accredited skills training, an audio-visual soundproof music studio, DJing and dance.

The Centre will also provide food hygiene accreditation and basic cooking workshops in its new catering standard kitchen. Sports and gym activities will also be available, as well as a drop-in counselling and advice on primary health care, diet and nutrition, sexual health and harm minimisation workshops.

The Guardian Newspaper will provide training in interviewing and writing, as well as mentoring and work experience opportunities. Home Grown Value-Cricklewood Homeless Concerns will provide work experience in IT support, and there will be a wider education and training programme providing 15 apprenticeships to young people via an agreement with contractors building the new extension.

Shelagh O’Connor, Project Manager at New Horizon Youth Centre, said: “We are delighted to receive this support for what will be a truly multi-functional facility. The centre will be a place where young people can get advice, make new friends and learn vital life skills. There are already a number of great ideas in the pipeline, which will use the centre as a focal point, including a volunteering project where young people and older residents can share their skills and break down barriers.

“The extension itself is sustainable on many levels. It will be made of sustainable materials, and will be financially sustained through the renting of rooms to other organisations for meetings and the performance area to theatre groups.”

Ed Balls, Children and Young People’s Secretary, said: “The vast majority of young people are good citizens, play by the rules and just want better things to do and places to go after school and at the weekend rather than hanging around in the street or in the local park.  They enjoy getting involved in exciting projects such as myplace, so I hope that this scheme will help change the way communities view our young people.

“myplace will transform positive activities for young people who will be able to decide what kind of facilities they want, and when they want them, such as on Friday and Saturday nights.

“In the Children’s Plan we said we want all young people to have the best opportunities whatever their circumstances and myplace will give young people across the country a chance to enjoy new experiences, learn new skills and become a valued member of their own community.”

All projects funded through myplace have actively involved young people in their design and development, and will continue to involve them in their future running.

Debbie Pippard, BIG Lottery Fund Head of Region for London, said: “The New Horizon Youth Centre and NAME are outstanding candidates for funding through myplace. Thousands of young people in diverse parts of North London will benefit from these fantastic assets, which will be a focal point in local communities for many years to come.”

Driven by the active participation of young people, myplace is part of the Government’s Aiming High strategy. The ten-year youth strategy was announced in July 2007 to help young people, particularly those in deprived areas, take part in positive activities that will help them develop new skills and raise their aspirations.


Further Information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572
Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030
Textphone:  08456 021 659

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website:


Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) distributes lottery funding to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. It also uses its expertise in grant-giving to distribute non-lottery funding. BIG has been appointed to distribute £190 million of Government funding from DCSF to develop world-class youth facilities in England through the myplace progamme.
  • For further information on myplace please visit the website  
  • The recent Youth Taskforce Action Plan announced that the Government is also investing a further £22.5m through the Youth Capital Fund to improve places for young people to go in neighbourhoods where anti-social behaviour is a particular problem.

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