In Funding, Skills

Communities across Tyne and Wear are set to benefit from nearly £5 million of funding after the Big Lottery Fund and EU have joined forces.

The Big Lottery Fund is matching funds from the European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020 to provide joint investment in 61 local projects tackling poverty, promoting social inclusion and boosting local economies.

Projects will provide learning and training opportunities for people to increase their confidence and learn new skills that will put them on the path to employment. Projects are designed to help people to overcome a huge range of challenges in their lives and communities. For example, projects will provide specialist support to people living in a rural, isolated area, people who are homeless, have mental health issues, are living with a disability or overcoming addiction issues.

The Big Lottery Fund is working with local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and their decision-making committees across England who have identified projects that best meet local need and priorities. From today organisations will be able to apply for funding to deliver these projects, including voluntary, community and social enterprise groups, who have historically found it hard to apply for and manage EU funding.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund said: “Working with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, these projects will enable people to overcome challenges and improve their long-term job prospects. This valuable partnership will create new opportunities for groups to focus on issues specific to their local communities.”

The 61 projects announced today across England with a total of more than £132.6 million available, represent the second round of this funding and involve 18 LEP areas. This takes the total number of LEP areas with projects to 38. Each LEP has identified the issues challenging their communities and the opportunity that funding can bring to address them.

Projects open for applications today include a project in the North East LEP area covering Tyne and Wear which aims to support people furthest from the labour market experiencing significant physical and mental health barriers into work. The project recognises the number of people who are unemployed due to ill health is relatively high in this area. Tailored support will be provided for each individual, assessing their complex needs and helping them overcome the main barriers to employment.

Potential applicants with questions about the stage one application process should view the FAQs available here: https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/bbofaq. The closing date for applications is 12 noon 30 November 2015.

A small number of further funding opportunities are expected in early 2016. To be kept informed on the latest Building Better Opportunities news register your interest on our website at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/esf.

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