Community grants tender totalling more than £1m launched in the Marches

September 11, 2019

Communities in the Marches could benefit from grants worth more than £1 million to help get more people into work, it was revealed today.

The European Social Fund’s new Community Grants Programme will see funding of up to £20,000 given to organisations to help support unemployed people through packages of training and support.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has launched an invitation to tender for organisations to set up and run the grant schemes in the Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire areas of the Marches LEP.

Stephanie Jones, Marches ESF Technical Assistance Officer, said: “The ESFA is looking to procure organisations to undertake the role of Grant Co-ordinating Bodies (GCB) to deliver a community grants programme.

The Community Grants programme provides for small grants of up to £20,000 to small organisations in the voluntary and community sector to provide support to unemployed and inactive people to engage them and move them towards employment through packages of training and support.

The Grant Co-ordinating Body will be required to market and promote the grants programme, manage calls for proposals from third sector and small organisations, assess applications, make grant awards and monitor and manage the grants that have been awarded.”

The contracts are funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) as part of a £42m allocation to the Marches LEP and co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The contract for Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin is worth £990,000 of which up to £860,000 would be available to award as community grants. For Herefordshire the contract is worth around £562,000 of which up to £468,000 would be available to award in grants.

For more information on how to apply for the tender, click here

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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