The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF) have been funding two projects in the Marches LEP area. They are run by Landau Ltd in association with partner organisations in each county and are part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, which aims to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.
The funding is delivered in 38 Local Enterprise Partnership areas including the Marches according to local priorities, set by the LEPs themselves. Delivery of Building Better Opportunities in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin began in January 2017 and involves 20 organisations. In Herefordshire, Building Better Opportunities started in January 2018 and with 12 organisations delivering in partnership.
The funding supports projects that provide training, education and volunteering opportunities for people to increase their confidence and learn new skills that will help them on the path to employment. Across the Marches, this funding is specifically focused on those aged 19 and over who are furthest from employment due to reasons of disability; age; homelessness and deprivation; complex family circumstances; lone parents, carer responsibilities; mental health and those from ethnic minorities.
The funding for both projects, worth over £5m, was extended in February 2019 with the projects now running until 2022.
Further details can be found by visiting https://www.landau.co.uk/building-better-opportunities/
In April 2019 Landau announced the In2 programme which aims to support young people into learning and work in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire. The programme, which is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), is targeted at young people aged 15-24.