Black Country community groups receive funding from European Social Fund Community Grants Programme

Black Country community groups receive funding from European Social Fund Community Grants Programme

The European Social Fund Community Grants Programme is open until July 2021 and is currently accepting new applications. The next round deadline is 2nd March 2020. Third sector and not for profit groups that help improve the skills and job prospects of local residents are welcome to apply.

Small Black Country third sector organisations have successfully applied for funding from the Community Grant Programme. The programme- worth £990,000 – is jointly funded by the ESFA and ESF and offers grants of up to £20,000 for each organisation. The current Community Grants has been open since June 2019 and has funded 21 projects across the Black Country area with more in the pipeline. Funded projects run six month programmes that focus on helping local people progress towards and enter the jobs market.

Sandwell Community Hubs have successful applied for and secured £20,000 to deliver the Rowley and Bristnall Employment Hub Project. Over the past six months, the project has been supporting a cohort of local people who would like to re-enter the job market. The project provides one to one and group support, covering CV writing and tips on completing application forms. Practical support such as mock interviews and presentation skills have contributed to building the confidence of participants. The project also offers a variety of workshops and non-accredited courses to improve the chance of gaining employment or going onto further training.

To be eligible organisations need to have an annual income below £300,000 and demonstrate an innovative approach to helping people who are out of work or disadvantaged learn new skills and move closer to the workforce.

Applications can be made to Walsall Council who successfully tendered to act as the local Grant Co-ordinating Body on behalf of the ESFA for the second time running. Application materials, eligibility criteria and guidance are available by contacting Walsall Council External Funding Team at communitygrants@walsall.gov.uk.

The Community Grants team are available to offer support to organisations interested in making an application. If you would like to discuss a project in more detail please contact Community Grant Manager Ruth Burgess at communitygrants@walsall.gov.uk. Successful applicants will also be able to access bespoke training and capacity building support to enable them to deliver the part EU funded project.

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