Eden, Cumbria, The Lake District – A natural choice for business

European Social Fund builds better opportunities for Cumbria

16 October 2015

A new round of funding opportunities has opened in Cumbria for projects aiming to help long-term unemployed people.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership has been working with the Big Lottery Fund’s Building Better Opportunities programme to launch three project calls totalling over £4m within the county.Matching funds from the European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020 to provide joint investment, the projects will help deliver support for those who are facing multiple and complex barriers to employment.

They will seek to tackle poverty, promote social inclusion and boost local economies in the following designated geographic locations, delivering identical aims and objectives but with different levels of funding according to local need:
·         Carlisle & Eden – £885,400 available
·         Allerdale & Copeland - £1,770,800
·         Barrow & South Lakeland - £1,368,400.

Graham Haywood, director of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, says: “Funding for these projects aims to help long-term unemployed people to play a greater role in their communities and gain confidence and skills that they can put into practice in employment or volunteering. They will also provide work experience and employment opportunities for those within social enterprises.”

The Big Lottery Fund is working with Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership to identify projects that best meet local need and priorities.  EU strategy manager for the LEP Corinne Watson adds: “This funding provides a fantastic opportunity to provide much needed support to individuals in Cumbria, who with a little extra and intensive help, can take that first step on the road to volunteering and ultimately employment.

“The focus is on providing support to improve mental health, financial inclusion and encouraging opportunities within the social enterprise and wider third sector.”

Organisations that can apply for funding to deliver these projects include voluntary and community and social enterprise groups.  For further information, including funding call specifications, visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/esf

The Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership Cumbria has been awarded an allocation of £87.2m from the European Structural Funds Programme 2014-2020.  This includes the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

European funding streams are managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government for ERDF, Department for Work and Pensions for ESF and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs for EAFRD.

For further information on European Funding in Cumbria, please contact Corinne Watson at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership corinne.watson@cumbria.gov.uk