Stoke Staffs LEP

Building Better Opportunities- ESF & Big Lottery Funding 2014

This new joint BIG Lottery and European Social Fund (ESF)  is aimed at supporting local grass roots groups in engaging those furthest from the labour market.

This fund is being commissioned through LEP’s (Local Enterprise Partnerships) from 2014 for six years until 2020. The basis of this is the LEPs ESIFIS strategy and Big Lottery’s Opt in to provide match funding for the specified LEP priorities stipulated in the ESIFIS which is basis of the level of funding and beneficiaries.

The biggest benefit of this to the VCS (Voluntary and Community Sector) is that lottery is providing all the match funding which will make it easier for most VCS organisations to access European funding.

Please click here to view how the funding is allocated in line with the LEP’s ESIFIS strategy.

[toggle title=”Further info on the LEP’s strategy – Click here”]4.1 Skills for Employability Development of basic employment skills focuses specifically on vulnerable groups and NEET young people. E.g “ entry level skills that will make unemployed people and NEET young people more suited to the job market.

4.2 Skills Support for Growth To enhance innovation and enterprise through higher level skills to support key growth sectors. E.g. ambitious social entrepreneurs with business support; match funding to raise investment and deliver social outcomes.

4.3 Vocational Routes to employability Promote pathways to employment, by engaging employers and training providers. The VCS can play a key role in using volunteering as a key route to employment, by developing practical skills, social skills and confidence and experience through on the job training.

4.4 Access to employment Improve the overall employability of people furthest from the job market. E.g. NEETS, ex offenders. This can include pre-employment training, career information/guidance or a job club. Help people gain employment by improving skills and confidence to enable them to full fill their potential.

4.5 Promoting social inclusion amongst disadvantaged groups Promotes the tackling of social exclusion by targeting deprived or socially isolated communities. This may include community development and support at a grass roots/neighbourhood level. Note: This programme should compliment but not duplicate or displace any existing lottery funded programmes in our LEP area.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”POSSIBLE OUTPUTS/OUTCOMES – CLICK HERE”]We do not have any details of outputs or outcomes to be commissioned at this stage, examples could include:

1) No. of unemployed engaged
2) No. of people Trained
3) No. securing paid employment
4) No. of people up-skilled to be job ready (e.g. through volunteering)
5) No. of people gaining new qualifications
6) No. of long term unemployed (over 2 years) engaged in Volunteering
7) No. of NEETS supported/engaged[/toggle]

  • Programme is likely to be delivered through grants, rather than contracts.
  • The BIG Lottery aims to increase the accessibility of these funds to VCSE organisations. The grants will be allocated via an open and competitive process.
  • Lottery will pay up to a maximum of 5% quarterly in advance.
  • The BIG Lottery Fund are encouraging partnership projects.
  • These will be new projects/grants.
  • The Big Lottery Fund will be running the competitions and these will be open, fair and transparent.
  • The number of projects and successful grant organisations will vary across LEP areas around the country, and depend on the priorities of the LEP and the size of their opt-in allocation. A LEP might have more than one project per investment priority depending on the funds allocated and priorities of the LEP.
  • The lead organisation will co-ordinate the portfolio of activities that they, and other partnerships (rather than consortia) of providers, run within each area. Competitions for grants will be open, fair and transparent and applicants are likely to be partnerships with a lead organisations. Lead organisations of successful partnerships will coordinate the activities to be delivered in line with the project outline developed by the LEP and The Big Lottery Fund.
  • The lead organisation will co-ordinate the project funding and act as the main contact with Big Lottery Fund. The grant agreement will be with the lead organisation for a partnership.
  • Funding will be dependent on alignment of proposals with the priorities set out in the project outline, and the quality and deliverability of each project.
  • The Big Lottery Fund will develop project outlines with the LEP based on the LEP priorities for Thematic Objective 9 as set out in their ESIF strategy.
[toggle title=”PROGRESS TO DATE – CLICK HERE”]We have secured £30,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for the Programme Development Phase, which will:-

Appoint a dedicated Project Manager for a 6 month secondment to over the PDF process.

Series of Dissemination events Stoke and Staffordshire.

Consultation on the strategic priorities of the LEP as specified in the ESIFIS, building on the initial consultation by the VCSE forum.

Raise awareness of ESF and practicalities of submitting applications and conforming to audit trails.

Identify local capacity issues amongst the sector and facilitate and signpost to support, provide training sessions and enable networking.

Please click here to view Update from Chair of VCSE Forum Judith Kirkland

Three consultation events were held across Staffordshire to discuss the fund throughout December 2014. Please click here to view the slides used in the events: ESF & Big Lottery Consultation[/toggle]

[toggle title=”NEXT STEPS – CLICK HERE”]
  • First 3 consultation events to be arranged in December.
  • Dedicated website with comprehensive online information and blog.
  • On line consultation survey.
  • To Engage with agencies/VCS groups that support ESF/BIG’s target groups ing (eg NEET’s, young people, long term unemployed etc).
  • 4 key infrastructure organisations will assist in developing a database of invitees: VAST, SCVYS (Staffs Council for Voluntary Youth Services), Support Staffordshire and Engaging Communities Staffordshire (ECS).
[toggle title=”TIMELINE – CLICK HERE”]
  • Sept 2014 “ Bid to the LEP for £30k grant to develop PDF
  • Oct 2014 “ Approval of Funding
  • Nov 2014 “Recruit/secondment of a Programme Manger
  • Dec 2014 “ 3 consultation Events
  • Dec 2014 “ On line
  • Jan 2015 “ March 2015 -“ Development of the local Programme and priorities
  • April 2015 “ Setting up/ Development of local delivery partnerships
  • May 2015 “ Development of final proposal framework to BIG
  • Sept 2014 “ Bid to the LEP for £30k grant to develop PDF
  • Oct 2014 “ Approval of Funding
  • Nov 2014 “Recruit/secondment of a Programme Manger
  • Dec 2014 “ 3 consultation Events
  • Dec 2014 “ On line
  • Jan 2015 “ March 2015 “ Development of the local Programme and priorities
  • April 2015 “ Setting up/ Development of local delivery partnerships
  • May 2015 “ Development of final proposal framework to BIG

Members of the VCSE Forum

Name Organisation Reason for selection
1 Judith Kirkland (Chair) Business Enterprise Support LEP board member & SE Rep
2 Chris Welch Community Council for Staffordshire Rural Infrastructure org
3 Phil Pusey Staffs Council for Voluntary Youth Services Youth Infrastructure org
4 Lloyd Cooke Saltbox Faith Infrastructure org
5 Steve Adams Staffordshire Community Foundation Independent local funder
6 Nick Maslen Chair Staffordshire Voice VCS representative body
7 Danny Flynn Chair of VSCOG North Staffs Chief Officers group
8 Tim Edwards PM Training Regen/training provider
9 Gill Brown Brighter Futures (RSL) Fulfilling Lives Contract holder
10 Kent Parsons or Jill Norman or Gary Jones Support Staffordshire (District Infrastructure) Talent Match Contract holder
11 David Gibson PCN regeneration Private Sector Regen & SE support
12 Sajid Hashmi (Vice Chair) VAST City & Countywide Infrastructure org
13 Ian Woodhall Stoke a City Council LA rep
14 Andrew Donaldson Staffordshire County Council LA rep
15 Nigel Senior LEP LEP rep
Alex Greatholder Secretary to the forum



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