£1.5 million available for voluntary sector and small organisations to tackle unemployment from the European Social Fund

January 10, 2020

A new £1.5 million grants scheme has been launched to help unemployed people across the Marches build a brighter future.

The ESF Community Grants scheme is supporting small and voluntary organisations with funding of between £5,000 and £20,000 for initiatives that will move unemployed people towards employment, training or back into education.

The programme is being managed by Telford-based employment and education charity Landau in partnership with the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and European Social Fund (ESF).

The new programme – commissioned by the Education and Skills Funding Agency – forms part of a multi-million pound series of measures overseen by the Marches LEP to transform lives across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Projects eligible for funding include activities that improve confidence and promote social integration such as sports and gardening clubs, local support groups and networks such as Job Clubs and initiatives that help personal development, including assertiveness and motivational training.

Third sector and small organisations with a turnover of less than £8.5 million and which employ fewer than 49 people are eligible to apply.

A grants panels made up of representatives from key local stakeholders will help to ensure that the funding reaches those projects who can make a real difference to those who need it the most.

Sonia Roberts, CEO of Landau, said:

This is a great opportunity for smaller organisations to support local efforts to help people towards a happier life. Small and voluntary organisations have the knowledge of the local area, understand the needs of the local community and have the potential to deliver targeted and effective localised programmes of support. We look forward to seeing the positive impact of the programme across our local communities.”

The programme will run from Jan 2020 with applications open until April 2021. Information on eligibility and funding criteria can be obtained from www.landaugrants.co.uk

The grants come from a £42 million pot of ESF funding allocated to the Marches LEP to support investment in employment, skills and social inclusion across the region.

The Marches LEP is the organisation tasked with driving economic prosperity and sustainable job creation across the region.

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