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Issue:- 24 October 2014

Lottery funding to help voluntary sector access European funding

THE Big Lottery Fund has awarded £79,897 of Lottery funding to 5 organisations across the North West to raise awareness within the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector of the opportunities available through the European Social Fund (ESF). The funded projects will provide advice and guidance on the European funding that will be matched by the Big Lottery Fund in their Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas and will be available from 2015.

Over the next few years the Big Lottery Fund plans to put up £260 million of National Lottery funding to match a similar figure from Europe, subject to sign off from the European Commission at the end of this year. Together, the matched funds will be used to tackle poverty and promote social inclusion.

The money from Europe comes from a new seven year cycle of European funding; the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) Growth programme, of which ESF is one part. It will support a wide range of projects including improving employability for the most disadvantaged, helping those with multiple and complex needs, improving financial literacy, and helping communities to overcome challenges in their lives.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund said:- “Historically voluntary organisations have often found it difficult to access European funding. Through this development funding, we will help ensure there is widespread awareness of the opportunities available through the ESF, and will bring the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector together to discuss local needs already identified by LEPs and how best to tackle these priorities.”

Cheshire Community Foundation Limited (CCF) will use its grant of £19,897 to work with and engage the voluntary sector in the Cheshire and Warrington LEP area. An action plan will be delivered aiming to raise awareness and understanding of European funding and LEP priorities through a series of events and master classes.

Cumbria Council for Voluntary Service in Eden is awarded £10,000 to work with partners to deliver a package of support including publicity, events and training to equip VCSE organisations with the skills and knowledge to secure European funding for good quality projects.

Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations (GMCVO) will work with Network for Europe and New Economy (Greater Manchester LEP) to build a wider understanding of Greater Manchester’s ESF plans with its grant of £20,000. It will help organisations to identify if European funding is an appropriate way of tackling local issues they wish to address.

ONE Lancashire Limited in Preston is awarded £20,000 to establish a database of groups interested in European funding to disseminate information about ESF opportunities. It will also hold two information events and workshops and aims to enable VCSE organisations to establish interest in involvement in projects or partnerships.

Sefton Council for Voluntary Service along with partners Network for Europe, and Liverpool CVS is granted £10,000. The partnership will use their existing knowledge, skills, networks and relationship with Liverpool City Region LEP to raise widespread awareness of European funding amongst the VCSE sector via workshops, e-networks, websites and newsletters.

Further information about the development grants awarded today in 36 LEP areas across England and how you can contact them can be found on the Big Lottery Fund's website at:-

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