Stuart Ashmore

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PRS Foundation – Writer Producer Fund

The Writer Producer Fund offers an opportunity for songwriters and writer-producers working in popular music genres to further develop their careers and writing/production credits with grants of up to £10,000.

The Writer Producer Fund is delivered by PRS Foundation in association with the BASCA Trust.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be:

  1. Songwriters (behind the scenes creators of new music who don’t also perform or produce), or
  2. Writer-producers (those working on production who contribute to the songwriting process and are acknowledged as writers), and
  3. UK based PRS for Music members with a CAE number

Applications can be made by songwriters / producers directly or by their representatives. Those who can apply on their behalf include;

  • Co- writers  (published and unpublished)
  • Managers
  • Music Publisher
  • Lawyer
  • Trusted advisor

In addition, the fund is available to songwriters/producer-writers who may also perform as a way of making money, or to those known as artists who want to forge careers as songwriters. Support will only cover development of careers as songwriters. Any music creators considering themselves as performing artists first and foremost will be signposted to other schemes (see below).

NOTES ON ELIGIBILITY: This application is not for writers and producers just starting out, demoing and developing. We are looking for writers and producers with successes in their writing careers and applicants must have a previous track record.

Applicants must have at least 3 commercially exploited works – this means a work that has been performed live, has received media coverage or radio play, and/or has been released via commercial channels. For those without evidence of commercially exploited works, we will ask you to name at least 5 credited works registered with PRS for Music.

Applicants must submit at least 3 works for consideration and advisors will listen to at least 2 submitted works.

For more information and to apply visit:


New Plan for GM2LF Big Local

The GM2LF (Grace Mary to Lion Farm) Big Local Partnership is excited to announce that its new ‘Big Local Plan’ has been endorsed and the funding for the next 3 years has been approved by the funder, Local Trust.

 The plan runs from April 2017 -March 2020 with summaries and full copies of the plan being available on the GM2LF Big Local website.  For more information please click here


Big Local in Bloom is Back

Following the success of the GM2LF Big Local in Bloom competitions last year, the competitions for 2017 have now been launched.

The garden and the poster design competitions are open to everyone living in the Grace Mary to Lion Farm Big Local area.  Please see the website here for more information


Big Local Grant Programmes Launched

To address the priorities under the theme ‘Our Community’ within the Big Local plan, grants are currently available to not-for profit, voluntary and community groups and social enterprises active and delivering services in the Grace Mary to Lion Farm area.  Please click on the links below for more information.

  1.  ‘Community Activities’ Grant Programme
  2.  ‘Advancing Churches as Community Hubs’ Fund

Comic Relief Community Cash deadline extended.

The deadline for Heart of England’s ‘Comic Relief Community Cash’ programme has been EXTENDED to 12 noon on Monday, 22nd May 2017.

Comic Relief Community Cash grants of £500 – £1,000 are available to small organisations (annual income of less than £100,000) in Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull that are doing great work to help local people living tough lives.

For more information about the programme please read the Fund Factsheet or to make an application visit:


Project Aspie’s next ‘Alphabet 12’ meeting

Alphabet 12 is a networking event that supports people with Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism.



It is free and is suitable for people who meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 16+
  • Who have Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism
  • Living in Birmingham and West Midlands region
  • Wanting to meet other people with Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism

‘Alphabet 12’ Birmingham offers Service Users the chance to explore opportunities that will bring Confidence and Motivation.

The next monthly meeting is on Saturday, 27th May at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham. Networking and refreshments are available between 12 noon and 12.45pm, followed by a keynote webinar from Dr. Harold Reitman, M.D.

You can find out more information here:


Could you offer Work Experience?

Is your business interested in supporting young people who are looking for work?

Are you committed to engaging with your community and developing local talent and skills?

Could you provide young jobseekers with a positive experience of the working world?

If the answer to these questions is ‘yes,’ you should consider becoming a Work Experience host.

For some young people a lack of understanding of the working world is a significant barrier to finding and sustaining employment. Jobcentre Plus wants to work with you to offer young jobseekers the opportunity to overcome this barrier through Work Experience placements. For those who lack experience, the chance to undertake real work and adjust to the routines and habits of working life can significantly improve their employment prospects.

What is Work Experience?
Work Experience will enable young, unemployed people to volunteer for placements lasting between 2 and 8 weeks. These volunteers will be matched with suitable host employers and complete a light touch selection process. We’ll continue to pay participants’ benefits and also cover the costs of travel, childcare and CRB Disclosures if required.

To find out more….read the work experience guide and/or contact Elaine Palmer, Recruitment Consultant, DWP, Smethwick Jobcentreplus. T: 0121 480 8878 / E: ELAINE.PALMER1@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK

Business in the Community Event

Business needs resilient and prosperous communities in order to succeed and grow. One cannot succeed without the other. Communities are at the heart of everything we do in responsible business.
A key way for businesses to connect with their communities is through employee volunteering; sharing time, skills and expertise to address key social challenges, and in return developing knowledge and insights of the perceptions and values of communities amongst employees.

Give & Gain 2017
Give & Gain is Business in the Community’s day for celebrating the incredible power of employee
volunteering. In 2017, Give & Gain will celebrate the on-going support provided by businesses through
employee volunteers across the year, not just one day. Businesses will be able to Give & Gain at the
most suitable time to effectively address the needs of their community in a way that is relevant to their
Community Conversations
Community Conversations bring together local businesses, community organisations and government
representatives to explore the issues affecting their communities and how they can build a connected
society together. A Community Conversation is a cross-sector networking event, encouraging fruitful
conversations and tri-party collaboration. Our event on 27th April will form part of Business in the
Community’s Responsible Business Week

Community Challenge
We want to invite local community organisations to present a current challenge they are facing and to
network as a participant offering knowledge and expertise to some of the challenges our local
communities are facing. Participants will be divided into break-out sessions to unpack one community
challenge and to workshop collaborative solutions as a group. This will provide an opportunity for
participants to work as part of a cross-sector team, sharing their knowledge to provide real support to
local communities.

Thursday, 27th April 2017 – 9am to 12;30pm – One Snowhill, Snowhill Queensway, Birmingham B6 4GA

It is useful for community organisations attending to think about their business engagement, what are your priorities? How could a business support your organisation and what do you have to offer business? This will help you get the most out of the event, rather than thinking about it on the spot.
BITC will ask you to complete a Pre-Thinking document prior to the event, this will help us group participants for the breakout sessions and also help us to understand your organisation and priorities which may help nus to sign post you to certain businesses.
For further information or to RSVP, please contact Kelly Stackhouse 07921 493274 or Frances Kenwrick 07786 336246

Vinci UK Foundation – Deadline: 31st March 2017

VINCI recognises that its sustainable economic success is linked to an ambitious social commitment. The UK Foundation brings to life VINCI’s determination to be a long term partner to the communities for which it builds, equips and manages facilities such as factories, offices, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, airports, telecommunications and energy networks in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The VINCI UK Foundation supports projects that promote social cohesion and fight exclusion.

How to submit a project?

The application period for the submission of projects in 2017 runs until the end of March. Before requesting support from the Foundation, you can test the suitability of your project with this first questionnaire. It is important that the project fits with the selection criteria of the VINCI UK Foundation defined by the following areas of action.

  1. Promote access to the labour market
  2. Integration through housing
  3. Inclusive mobility
  4. Building better communities

For FULL application information click HERE.

Improving your charity’s digital storytelling

Do you use ‘digital’ to communicate your message? A website, Facebook, Twitter etc? Producing fresh and engaging content can feel like hard work sometimes. If you feel your content needs a bit of a refresh, considering these few tips for the technology trust could make all the difference.

1. Set yourself apart

Offering something that others don’t can really help drive traffic and increase engagement. Finding a ‘niche’ makes competing for funds and donors a little easier because you are providing something different.

This can be difficult when there are multiple organisations behind a single good cause. For these, your content, campaigns and methods will set you apart, rather than your overall cause.

Creating videos, telling your story, doing interviews, etc. are just a few ideas. It’s good to take a look at charities similar to yours, bigger or smaller. You may take inspiration or spark an idea for something new or you can assess what is/isn’t working about their content and see what you’d do better.

An example of a charity that’s made their content stand out is Gift of Water. Their 2012 video used the hashtag #firstworldproblems. It worked effectively by making people reevaluate their fortune.


2. Leverage images, memes or pop culture references

Integrating dynamic images, memes, infographics or pop culture references is a simple way to improve your content.

Marketing statistics suggest people are over 50% more likely to remember information when paired with a fitting visual.

This is because images can makes your digital story more exciting, help readers relate to your brand and have a more powerful and immediate effect.

However… stock images can be damaging if they’re just used as filler. You need the image to contribute to the text to ensure people don’t glaze over the content as easily as if it was just text.

There are tons of charities doing a good job with their images. A great example is Childs I, who tell stories with their photographs.

We have written a separate article all about effective image use that you can check out here.

Read the FULL article (and the other 4 tips) HERE.

Oldbury Viaduct Major Renewal Scheme

Regular users of the M5, between junctions 1 and 2 particularly, may already be aware of the impending major renewal works that are scheduled to begin after Easter 2017.

Intervention is required to repair damaged sections in order to prevent bigger challenges and further disruption in the future.

So, what is this likely to mean for users of that particular stretch? Well, I guess the most obvious answer is some major disruption…until Autumn 2018!

However, the positive news is that the contractors have collaborated with local authorities to consider their work programmes and suggestions for traffic management and agreed diversion routes – all designed to keep the traffic flowing as much as possible.

To find out more, read the information leaflet from Highways England HERE.

You can find out additional information about the scheme at: and

The Spring Budget – implications for the Sector.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered his Spring Budget last week (8th March 2017).

Ruth Breidenbach-Roe, from Locality, takes a look at the implications (& opportunities?) for the Sector…

Whilst economic growth is higher than initially predicted, Philip Hammond chose to limit major public spending and stick within the austerity framework. Despite barely getting a mention in his speech, the future economic uncertainty of Brexit hung over the Budget as the Chancellor warned that there was ‘no room for complacency’ in current improved public finances.

£2bn of new funding was made available for local authorities for social care over the next three years. A new green paper on health and social care was also announced which will seek a longer-term, sustainable plan for social care funding. We will be working with our member-led network for health and wellbeing to input into this consultation.

The Chancellor also announced a new funding package to help businesses (and charities, at local government discretion) to manage business rates costs, in the face of massive opposition from retailers and his own colleagues to rates revaluation. We have been working with sector colleagues in the lead up to the budget to call for 100% mandatory rate relief and these announcements bringing concessions for small businesses, as well as pubs, strengthens our campaign ask.

Read the FULL article at:


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