Communities across Northamptonshire are set to benefit from £3 million of funding to support people most in need, to develop their skills and overcome barriers to work, education and training.
The Big Lottery Fund is for the first time matching funds from the European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020 to provide joint investment in local projects to promote social inclusion and drive local jobs and growth which will tackle deprivation.
Projects will provide opportunities for people to improve numeracy, literacy and digital skills, build confidence and self-esteem, and better understand and manage their finances. Extra support will be given to people who may need it to find work including those with disabilities, mental health or addiction issues, those who are homeless, ex-offenders and people living in isolated rural areas.
Call for applications
The Big Lottery Fund is working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across England including NEP, who have identified projects that best meet local needS and priorities. Organisations can apply for funding to deliver these projects, as from today.
Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said: "We are delighted to be working with Local Enterprise Partnerships across the East Midlands to bring new funds into communities to develop employment opportunities and pathways to the job market for those most in need. These projects focus on solutions developed at a local level, from customised programmes for carers seeking flexible work to support for people to create new local social enterprises."
Sajeeda Rose, Chief Operating Officer, NEP, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Big Lottery Fund as their investment will really help those that need extra support to find work in Northamptonshire. The funding will help local schemes to deliver support, helping our people access employment.
“Building Better Opportunities helps people, especially those who face personal challenges to overcome these and move forward into training and employment.”
Across England, 71 projects have been announced today with a total of £174,521,600 available. This represents the first round of this funding and involves 25 LEP areas. Further investment is expected to be delivered over the next few years, taking the total number of LEP areas with projects to 37.
Each LEP has identified the issues challenging their communities and the opportunity that funding can bring to address them. The funding will be managed by the Big Lottery Fund, giving voluntary, community and social enterprise groups greater access to this wider ESF money than in previous years.
The first competitive application stage is now open. Grant competitions are fair, open and competitive and any organisation is eligible to apply, however most of the projects will be better suited to partnership working. Full details of all the project outlines in this round are available at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/esf
In order to support potential applicants and to help grant holders to understand, plan for and deliver the additional requirements that come with managing European funding, Big Lottery Fund has also awarded £950,000 to Baker Tilly, in partnership with Ecorys UK. For further information about this support visit www.bboesfsupport.com
Further funding opportunities will be available in autumn 2015. To be kept informed on the latest Building Better Opportunities news register your interest on our website at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/esf.
Collaborative bids encouraged
Both the Big Lottery and NEP are keen to encourage collaborative partnership bids to ensure that activity is delivered in a co-ordinated and effective manner.
Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire is hosting two events next week for those companies wishing to lead a consortium in a funding bid and others who prefer to join a consortium as a prospective partner.
The dates are:
Wednesday 10 June 2.00pm-4.00pm
NEP, 30 Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5DG
Friday 12 June 9.30am-12.30pm
Park Inn, Kings Street, Northampton, NN1 2TA
For more information and to register (essential), go to: www.northamptonshireep.co.uk/events
For the latest ESIF updates, visit NEP’s dedicated ESIF portal - www.northamptonshireep.co.uk/esif
Building Better Opportunities brings together money from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund 2014-2020 to provide joint investment in local projects that tackle poverty and promote social inclusion.
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