Community Grants fund invites new applications to support disadvantaged groups towards employment

Published: Tuesday, 28th August 2018

Oxford City Council has launched a fourth call for applications to the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) Community Grants programme.

The Community Grants programme funds skills and employment support activities. It is targeted at groups of people from the hardest to reach communities, to improve their employability and help them into work.

The council is inviting funding applications from local community groups, charities and not for profit organisations that are based in and provide services in Oxfordshire.

Funding is available for projects costing between £5,000 and £20,000, which must be completed by 1 March 2019. The closing date for applications is Friday 21 September.

Councillor Christine Simm, Board Member for Supporting Local Communities, said: “Community Grants funding has already delivered life-changing results for many of the 300 people already supported across Oxfordshire, helping them to overcome barriers to employment, access training opportunities and ultimately to find work.

“In this round of funding we’re particularly keen for smaller community organisations to apply so they can continue their irreplaceable work supporting Oxfordshire’s most vulnerable residents.”

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive at OxLEP, said: “A key aspect of creating – and indeed sustaining – a successful economy is to ensure those furthest away from the employment market are able to access it much more readily and effectively.

“Organisations will be able to make a genuine impact on the Oxfordshire economy through this round of funding.

“One of our priorities as a Local Enterprise Partnership is ‘People’. This priority aims to 'deliver and attract specialist and flexible skills at all levels – across all sectors – as required by our businesses with full, inclusive employment and fulfilling jobs’. With this in mind, we would absolutely encourage organisations to come forward with bids for this fund.”

The council manages the Community Grants programme on OxLEP’s behalf. The programme was launched in October 2016 and is financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

To date, the Community Grants programme has paid a total of £325,000 to 15 organisations. Funded activities have included skills training, work experience opportunities, active support into employment, and English and maths courses for recent migrants.

For more information, including details of how to apply for a grant, please visit www.oxford.gov.uk/esf.

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