The Big Lottery Fund has awarded £630,000 of Lottery funding to 36 organisations across England to raise awareness within the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector of the opportunities available through the European Social Fund (ESF).
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. 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 to ensure 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 and how best to tackle these priorities.”
In Leicester and Leicestershire CASE has been awarded £29,949. For more information on how they will be assisting voluntary and community groups across Leicestershire who are interested in accessing European funding visit their website here: http://case-da.co.uk/