EU Funding. Funding. People & Skills Projects - 13 December 2016

£15million from D2N2 and Big Lottery Fund to tackle unemployment and social exclusion

Jobless young people, the long-term unemployed and those in poverty will be helped towards finding work by a £15million fund, through the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and the Big Lottery Fund.

The ‘Building Better Opportunities’ (BBO) programme will deliver three major initiatives – at a total cost of £15,125,000 – to directly tackle long-term unemployment, and financial and social exclusion.

Half the funding for the three year projects will come from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s European Social Fund (ESF) allocation, itself part of a larger € 250million in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), and half from the Big Lottery Fund.

D2N2 is the private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary organisations which promotes economic growth and jobs creation across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for distributing 40% of all the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery; and has awarded more than £1billion to projects with a social mission in 2014-15.

The People First consortium – made up of D2N2 LEP area based charities Framework, Advice Nottingham and Groundwork – has successfully secured the BBO funding for the following three projects: 

  • Opportunity and Change:A pathway to work – £4.6million for a project aimed at people with multiple and complex needs – including combinations of health problems, family care responsibilities, homelessness, experience of domestic violence or offending – which have so far prevented them from becoming economically active. The project will support those furthest from finding employment to address their barriers and complex circumstances; and move them towards work, training, further education or volunteering opportunities. The project has now begun. It is being led by Nottingham-based charity Framework; which works with homeless, vulnerable and excluded people.
  • Money Sorted in D2N2 – £3m towards a project to combat financial exclusion. It will help people who are in financial difficulties whilst out of work, by helping them deal with money issues more effectively, and ensure they are accessing the financial help and benefits they are entitled to.  It will seek to address this problem, understanding that poverty and extreme financial hardship are key contributing factors to people being excluded from society. The project, which has also just begun, is being led by the St Ann’s Advice Group, as the lead organisation for Advice Nottingham. 

A further project is due to launch in January (2017): 

  • Towards Work – £7.4m for a programme primarily supporting men aged 50-plus, 18 to 24-year-olds, and women returning to work or who have never worked into employment and economic activity. Participants will include people from black, Asian and ethnic minority communities; those with mental health challenges; people with disabilities; homeless people; and those with substance misuse issues. It will include helping people to tackle potential work barriers such as a lack of transport, having a disability, living in an isolated or rural area, or having low or outdated skills. Groundwork will lead 23 organisations across the D2N2 LEP area to achieve its goal. The programme will be led by Groundwork Greater Nottingham.

It’s estimated the three projects will ultimately help 5,650 participants in the D2N2 area. The aim is for half these to be women, and high proportions aged over 50 and people with disabilities.

Projects must be delivered in the area covered by the D2N2 LEP – Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – and completed by December 2019.

Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (pictured above), said: “Unemployment for some people can last months or even years, and tackling it requires a multi-layered approach. There can be a whole range of domestic, educational and social reasons stopping someone from finding a job.

“It is an issue which must be addressed, as moving someone into useful employment not only improves one life but a whole family’s and, to some extent, the whole economy. D2N2 is committed to inclusive economic growth, which is why we are investing heavily in creating sustainable jobs through major programmes such as Building Better Opportunities.”

Commenting on Framework’s Opportunity and Change programme Claire Eden, Head of Employment and Special Projects at the charity, added: “This is much more than an employment programme. It is fundamentally about improving the lives of individuals and also bringing benefits to the communities they live in.

“People may ask why we are dedicating such resources to a relatively small group of people, but the potential benefits far outstrip the investment that is being made here. By reducing people’s isolation, tackling their substance misuse or offending we are also bringing considerable savings to the public purse.”

Jo Bradley-Fortune, Executive Director at Groundwork Greater Nottingham, said: “At Groundwork we are excited about working with our community and statutory partners to provide a needs-led service, to move people affected by long term unemployment and barriers closer to the job market.”

Debbie Webster, Manager of St Ann’s Advice Group, added: “Our project is a unique opportunity to make a real difference to some of the most financially excluded people, improving their financial wellbeing and money management skills; with a tailored package of support for each person, with a dedicated ‘Personal Navigator’. We are really excited about the difference this project can make.”

The BBO programme has received funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit

For further information about how the D2N2 LEP is using its European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) to grow its area’s economy and job numbers see its web link at

For further information about this media release contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email:

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