Helping the unemployed and those facing financial difficulties will be the focus of two social projects to be launched this week – with half of their costs to be met by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
In December (2016) the £15million Building Better Opportunities (BBO) programme was announced; with half of its funding to come from D2N2’s European Social Fund allocation (part of a larger € 250million in European Structural and Investment Funds) and half from the Big Lottery Fund.
BBO contains three projects – aimed at tackling unemployment and helping people facing financial difficulties across the D2N2 LEP area (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire) – with two of those projects due to have formal launches this week. They are:
- Money Sorted in D2N2 – The project is being run by Advice Nottingham; a consortium of Nottingham-based advice agencies giving free and impartial advice on benefits, debt, employment, housing and other issues. The £3m ‘Money Sorted in D2N2’ project is to combat financial exclusion; helping people in financial difficulties whilst out of work by advising them on how to more effectively deal with money issues, and ensure they’re accessing the financial help and benefits they’re entitled to.
- Towards Work – This project is being managed by Groundwork Greater Nottingham. ‘Towards Work’ is a £7.4m project primarily supporting people aged 40-plus, 18 to 24-year-olds, and women returning to work or who have never worked, back 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work barriers such as a lack of transport, having a disability, living in an isolated or rural area, or having few or outdated skills. Groundwork will lead 23 organisations across the D2N2 LEP area on the project.
The two projects had a Nottinghamshire launch, at Nottingham city centre’s Albert Hall Conference Centre this lunchtime (May 2), and a Derbyshire launch is planned from 12noon to 2.30pm on Thursday (May 4) at The Stuart Hotel, Derby city centre. D2N2 speakers have been invited to both launches to explain why the LEP feels it is important to invest significantly in them.
The third of the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) programme’s projects – the £4.6m Opportunity and Change: A pathway to work project, aimed at helping people with multiple and complex needs get into work, training, further education or volunteering – has already had its launch. It is being led by Nottingham-based charity Framework; which works with homeless, vulnerable and excluded people.
Framework, Advice Nottingham and Groundwork successfully bid to run the BBO programmes collectively, under the title of The People First consortium.
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 in 2014/15 awarded more than £1billion to projects with a social mission.
It has been estimated that the three BBO projects will together ultimately help around 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.
The projects will run across the D2N2 LEP area until December 2019.
Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, (pictured above) said: “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.”
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 website gov.uk/european-growth-funding
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 www.d2n2lep.org/EUFunding
For further information about this media release contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 957 8749 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org