EU Funding. Funding - 23 June 2015

£15million fund launched to tackle poverty and social exclusion

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

The ‘Building Better Opportunities’ programme is looking for projects to bid for part of the £15,125,000 fund, which will tackle long-term unemployment and help those socially excluded to access support.

Half of the total – to be made available over the next three years – is from the Big Lottery Fund and half from D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership European Social Fund (ESF) money; itself part of a £214m allocation in European Structural Investment Funds, or ESIF, which D2N2 announced in March.

davidRalph

D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Chief Executive David Ralph

The Building Better Opportunities funding will be divided into:

  • £7.4m for the Towards Work Project – Providing support in getting into employment and economic activity 18 to 24-year-olds, people aged 40-plus, and women returning to work or who have never worked. It will include helping people to tackle potential barriers such as a lack of transport, living in isolated rural areas or having low or outdated skills.
  • £4.6m for a Multiple and Complex Needs programme – Targeted at people furthest from the labour market who have problems getting into employment due to multiple barriers such as health, family care, homelessness or confidence issues. It will also support people with complex needs into training, further education or volunteering opportunities.
  • £3m towards Financial Inclusion – This programme will aim to help those who have got into financial difficulties whilst out of work, by helping people better understand, plan and manage their personal finances. It will look to address a contributing factor to their feeling socially excluded and falling into poverty.

The D2N2 Social Inclusion Framework report (published last October) also specifically identified mental health conditions and rural isolation, with difficulties over transport, as major barriers to be tackled when looking for employment.

It’s estimated that the whole £15m programme will ultimately help 3,996 participants in the D2N2 area. The aim is for half of these to be women, and high proportions of over-50s and people with disabilities.

Projects must be delivered in the area for which D2N2 – a partnership between business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary organisations – promotes economic growth; namely Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Projects must be completed by December 2019.

Organisations and businesses looking to lead on any of the above projects can apply online through the Big Lottery Fund website at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/esf. The closing date for first stage applications is 12noon on Monday August 3 (2015). Successful applicants will be asked to submit a fuller proposal.

One East Midlands, the voluntary and community sector’s regional network, will also raise awareness of Building Better Opportunities. Project partners can register their interest via http://oneeastmidlands.org.uk/Building_Better_Opportunities, or by contacting One East Midlands on 0115 934 8371 or email sandracasey@one-em.org.uk.

A D2N2 Building Better Opportunities (BBO) Technical Workshop will be held by One East Midlands tomorrow (Wednesday June 24), from 10am to 3pm (lunch provided), at the Erewash Voluntary Action Granville Centre, Granville Avenue, Long Eaton (NG10 4HD). The free event, run with the Big Lottery Fund and the BBO European Social Fund Support Team, will give potential project bidders advice on applying for funding. Book a place at the event online at http://bboworkshop240615.eventbrite.co.uk

Business services group Baker Tilly and public policy consultancy Ecorys UK are also supporting potential applicants with information and bid support. For more information go to www.bboesfsupport.com, or BBO ESF Support Helpline 0330 123 3844 or email: support@bboesfsupport.com .

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Tackling unemployment which lasts months or even years requires a multi-layered approach; as 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 can not only improve 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.”

Specific queries as to how an individual project might fit into the D2N2 strategy for the area can be addressed to One East Midlands on 0115 934 8371.

For further information about the D2N2 LEP’s ESIF funding see website www.d2n2lep.org/EUFunding.

Media wanting further information on D2N2 can contact Sean Kirby, Communications Officer, on the D2N2 Newsdesk, on 0115 9578749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org

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