Manchester Council has increased its investment in youth and play services in the city by half a million pounds – a 25% increase on current spending.

The additional money is being made available as part of the council’s commitment to making 2022 a year of activity and opportunity for children and young people through its city-wide ‘2022 Our Year’ campaign, to help make up for all the time they’ve spent in lockdown and away from school and their friends during the last two years of the pandemic.

Throughout this year the council wants the city to look at itself through the eyes of its young residents, putting children and young people’s needs at the forefront of planning across every sphere of city life.

It is asking businesses, cultural organisations, leisure providers, shops, transport operators, and others to get behind the city’s children and young people.

2022 Our Year is asking these organisations to think what they could do differently to help them be happy and healthy, and to have the kind of opportunities and experiences they need and deserve so they can reclaim their futures and succeed in life.

The additional money sees Council spending on youth and play services rise by 25% on the existing £2.5m youth service budget and will be targeted on the delivery of direct youth services across the city.

Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children and Schools, Manchester City Council, said: “I am proud that we have decided to invest in children and young people. This extra half a million pound of investment will see more activities right across the city and more opportunities for young people of all ages to socialise, have fun and build new skills.

“Our Year 2022 is about thanking our young people for the sacrifices they made during the pandemic and giving them the opportunities they deserve. We listen to young people- they told us they want to see more activities and we’ve responded.

“This is another example of how Manchester is putting children and young people at the heart of the city’s recovery.”