Two youth centres in the county are to be transformed after receiving a major funding boost. 

The centres, in Peacehaven and Heathfield, will undergo “major upgrades” thanks to funding from central government.

More than £7 million has been provided as part of the youth investment fund to help East Sussex County Council improve its facilities for young people.

It comes after a “dramatic” fall in spending on youth services in England.

Analysis from the YMCA revealed that youth services in the country lost some £1.1 billion between 2010-11 and 2020-21.

East Sussex County Council says the funding will allow it to “provide a range of positive activities and support services for young people after school, in the evenings and at weekends”.

It is hoped the services provided will also help to reduce anti-social behaviour in the county.


Councillor Bob Bowdler, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for children and families, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this money that will enable us to provide state-of-the-art facilities.

“We have now been granted planning permission for changes to both centres and look forward to pushing ahead with plans and boosting provision for our young residents.”

Proposals for Heathfield Youth Centre in High Street, Heathfield, include demolishing the existing building and developing a new two-storey youth centre.

As well as being fully accessible, energy efficient, and future proof, the development will include an external activity hall.

At The Joff in Roderick Avenue, Peacehaven, proposals include remodelling the existing building with a rear extension and a lift at the front of the building to improve accessibility.

With funding secured, the county council is hoping to have the youth centres completed by December 2024.

The funding is part of a £300 million commitment by the government to “transform and level up” services for young people outside of school.

Lucy Frazer, the government’s culture secretary, said: “I want every young person to have the opportunity to access the kinds of activities which expand their horizons and allow them to develop vital life skills.

“These next 44 youth centres will give 12,000 more young people the opportunity to access these activities.”

A spokeswoman for East Sussex County Council added: "We are hoping to commence building works on the two youth centres towards the end of the year. This is an amazing opportunity to update youth facilities for local young people and the wider community in these two areas.

"Our staff are currently looking at a range of locations within these areas to relocate our Youth Services to on a temporary basis during the build."