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Places for young people

Learning from our myplace programme
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Young people need places to socialise, learn new skills and develop. Youth centres offer just the place. These centres give young people access to a wide range of activities and support services.

Successful youth centres need young people at their core: in the planning, running and use. This is exactly what our myplace programme does.

myplace puts young people at the forefront of planning and delivering projects that respond to local needs and priorities. It has also demonstrated the value of partnership working across sectors.

Sir Steve Redgrave quote

Sir Steve Redgrave, myplace Support Team Ambassador

To understand how the youth centres work for young people, we evaluated myplace. Our learning can help us see what works and where, so programmes can continually improve.

Key findings

The myplace evaluation has identified a number of factors important in ensuring young people benefit from the new youth centres:

  • delivering a range of activities that are valued by young people
  • attracting large numbers of young people, many of whom have not previously attended youth centresHow to attract young people to centres
  • allowing flexibility in activities – young people are able to drop
    in and out of activities
  • improving young people’s exercise and enjoyment of school.

It has also identified some challenges, such as:

  • improving use of information, advice and guidance services
  • including young people more fully in decisions about their youth centres.

Going forward

Our research helps us to establish how we should develop programmes in the future.

To better serve young people, centres need to:

  • better market their activities to young people
  • respond flexibly to young people’s priorities
  • sustain the involvement of young people in decision-making
  • have innovative and robust strategies for generating revenue and diversifying income.

More about the research

myplace is a programme funded by the Department for Education and delivered by us at the Big Lottery Fund. It has supported 63 projects, investing approximately £240 million across England. & The programme has given capital grants of between £1 million and £5 million to develop high-quality youth centres.

We commissioned the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University to evaluate the myplace programme. The evaluation focused on:

  • the achievements of myplace and other youth centre facilities and how best to measure their impact
  • the costs of sustaining provision and how this should inform future investment decisions
  • how myplace and other youth centres and facilities generate income, and the wider lessons for investing in youth facilities.

Full details about the research and our learning is available under Publications below.


myplace evaluation
myplace evaluation summary
myplace evaluation case studies
myspace evaluation technical annex
myspace interim report
myspace interim report summary