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EACEA National Policies Platform


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.6 Evidence-based youth policy

Last update: 26 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON:  07/08/20 20:34

On this page
  1. How Youth policy is funded
  2. What is funded?
  3. Financial accountability
  4. Use of EU Funds


How Youth policy is funded

Revenue support grant

The great majority of public funding available to support youth work is administered by local authorities with funding allocated from the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) provided by the Welsh Government.

The RSG is an unhypothecated funding stream meaning that the 22 local authorities are free to decide how this funding is utilised to best meet their local needs and priorities, including the provision of youth services. In addition, the Welsh Government provides a number of grants for specific purposes.


Youth Work Strategy Support Grant

In addition to the RSG, the Welsh Government has invested more than £10 million via the Youth Support Grant to complement and enhance local authority and voluntary sector investment of youth work opportunities. 

Each local authority is given a base allocation and the remaining amount is allocated using the same formula as the RSG. Local authorities develop a work plan for the grant which demonstrates how the funds will be used to:

  • support and facilitate the involvement of the voluntary sector in the implementation of the youth engagement and progression framework
  • Support open access provision to meet the gaps identified in the local authority's Single Integrated Plans (SIP) (replaced by Well-being Plans from April 2016)

Up to 25 per cent of the funds can be spent on staff training. LA must provide a six month update and 12 month evaluation.

National Voluntary Youth Organisations (NVYO) Grants Scheme

This scheme provides funding to support NVYOs in the Third (voluntary) sector continue to provide and developing quality youth work opportunities for young people aged 11 to 25. NVYOs apply to the Welsh Government. The maximum grant likely to be awarded is £175,000. Successful projects will be aligned to the National Youth Work Strategy for Wales and other government priorities. The NVYO fund has now closed for 2018-2020. The grant can be used to:

  • cover an organisation's national infrastructure costs (core / running costs)
  • provide stability to organisations to enable good interventions to continue
  • support the establishment of new activities in Wales.

What is funded?

Local authorities may choose to use their Revenue Support Grant to fund the different types of provision described in the section 'Main Themes' in the Article on 'Youth Policy Decision-making'. 

The Welsh Government also provides a number of hypothecated grants – the Youth Work Strategy Support Grant and the National Voluntary Youth Organisations (NVYO) Grants Scheme; details are provided above.

In addition, the Welsh Government provides core support to the CWYVS and ETS Wales

Financial accountability

Managing Welsh Public Money (Welsh Government, 2016) sets out the main principles for managing resources and is primarily aimed at organisations within the boundary of the Welsh Government’s consolidated accounts, but the principles should hold true across the whole of the Welsh public sector. The document aims to explain how to handle public funds with probity and in the public interest and should be read in conjunction with Managing Public Money (published by HM Treasury in 2012) to understand the wider picture of funding and financial control at a UK level.

The Welsh Government makes significant grants to local authorities in Wales. Some of these are specific (hypothecated). Most are not, allowing local authorities to set out their own priorities. Nevertheless, the Welsh Assembly expects assurances that such decentralised funds are used appropriately, i.e. that they are spent with economy, efficiency and effectiveness, and not wasted nor misused. The quality of the assurance available differs from that expected of central government organisations because local authorities’ prime accountability is to their electorates.

Both the Welsh Government and local authorities may either provide grants to or commission third parties to provide services for young people. Some of the organisations receiving these funds will be charities (part of the Third Sector in Wales). To be a charity, an organisation must satisfy the definition of a charity in the Charities Act 2011.  A charity is an institution which is:

  • established for a charitable purpose
  • subject to the control of the High Court's charity law jurisdiction. 

A charity will generally have trustees who are responsible for the organisation’s overall management. Trustees are legally responsible for directing affairs of their charity, ensuring that it is solvent, well run and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it was set up. Trustees must ensure that their charity complies with charity law and the requirements of the Charity Commission, as well as other legislation and regulators.  They must also ensure the organisation is meeting the requirements, charitable purpose and objects, set out in the charity's own governing document.

The Charity Commission also has a statutory function to identify and investigate abuse and mismanagement in charities. Information about the discharge of these duties is available from the section of the Charity Commission website which sets out How the Charity Commission ensures charities meet their legal requirements (2013).

The Charity Commission has also published guidance (2013) which sets out how charities may deliver services for local authorities or government departments.

Use of EU Funds

Wales has two European Social Fund operational programmes; one for West, North Wales and the Valleys, the other for East Wales. The two programmes outline the priorities and objectives to spend EUR 1.492 billion (of which EUR 1.006 billion from the EU budget) contributing to creating jobs and strengthening social cohesion in these regions. Young unemployed people, especially those who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) are one of the four groups which are targeted by the programme. 

Projects will continue to receive EU funding until 2023 as part of the Brexit transition period. This includes European Structural Funds programmes (the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund), European Territorial Co-operation programmes, and Ireland Wales programme.