EU Funding - 04 May 2016

£4.5m fund to help people overcome barriers to employment

People facing significant barriers to finding employment will receive tailored support to develop their work skills from a £4.5million programme, provided through the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

The ‘INSPIRE Local’ programme will aim to help those having trouble finding work due to disabilities or health conditions, having little or no work experience (young and older), living in isolated or rural areas, or living in areas with high levels of social exclusion.

From today (May 4) applications can be made by those looking to deliver the £4.5million programme within D2N2’s area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Further information is available on the Gov.UK website at  

Funding for INSPIRE Local will be provided through the European Social Fund (ESF), part of the €250million European Structural and Investment Funds allocated to D2N2 to grow its area’s economy. D2N2 is the private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, community and volunteer groups, and others which works to promote economic growth and create jobs in its area.

People taking part in the INSPIRE Local Programme will receive:

  • A two week support programme, including help with motivation and creating a plan of action; which could include work experience, further training, health and well-being support, and access to addiction treatment programmes.
  • An assigned mentor who will work with individuals for up to a year to support progress with their action plan.
  • Funding for individual’s additional needs; such as extra equipment needed to enable someone to undertake work experience.
  • Mentoring support for up to six months once people are in employment; and practical help with things such as travel costs, work equipment and extra training.
  • Complementary help to enable people to progress further, once they have completed their programme (which may take up to a year).

INSPIRE Local aims to help at least a quarter (25%) of participants into sustainable employment.

Applications to deliver the programme will be reviewed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is providing matched funding for and managing the INSPIRE Local programme for D2N2. The deadline for applications is Tuesday June 14 (2016).

Successful applicants will be expected to start delivering INSPIRE Local by the end of 2016. Funding will be available for them for up to three years.

Free information sessions (similar to the picture) for organisations wanting to bid to deliver INSPIRE Local will be held this month (May), where they can learn about the priorities of D2N2’s ESF programme. The sessions will all be held from 10am to 2pm (lunch will be included) on:

  • Monday May 16, at the Casa Hotel in Chesterfield (postcode S41 7JB)
  • Tuesday May 17, at Edwinstowe House Centre for Business Excellence, High Street, Edwinstowe (NG21 9PR)
  • Wednesday May 18, at the Derby Silk Mill, Silk Mill Lane, Derby city centre (DE1 3AF)
  • Friday May 20, at the New Art Exchange, 39-41 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham (NG7 6BE).

The events are free to attend but places are limited and must be booked in advance. To book a place online at one of the events go to D2N2 web link; or contact Hannah Gamble, at the D2N2 LEP, on email:

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “INSPIRE Local aims to help people overcome the barriers they may face to finding sustainable employment; whether domestic, educational, social or other issues.

“By providing in-depth support tailored to individuals’ needs and circumstances, the programme can help people find and retain sustainable employment; supporting individuals, families and the wider economy.

“INSPIRE Local is one of a series of D2N2 programmes aimed at helping people move towards and into work, and progress in the employment market.”

For further information regarding the D2N2 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programme, please visit the D2N2 ESIF website at OR contact Richard Kirkland, at the D2N2 LEP, on email:

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

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