The Black Country currently has calls open for Priority Axis 3: SME Competitiveness and Priority Axis 6: Preserving and Protecting the Environment and Promoting Resource Efficiency with a deadline of 10th November 2017. New ERDF calls for Priority Axis 4: Low Carbon and Priority 6: Environment are expected by December with further funding available in the New Year for both ERDF and ESF projects.
Recently the grant amount and criteria was amended for the Black Country ESF Community Grants Programme so community groups and not for profit organisations are advised to look again at applying if they haven’t applied previously. Now up to £15,000 is available for eligible groups to run suitable projects. Eligible organisations will be from the Black Country, have a turnover of less than £300,000 (increased from £150,000) and must be a not-for-profit organisation.
Following the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy and the changes to the way apprenticeships are funded in England DWP received a number of queries from Grant Recipients requesting further information on the impacts on ESF. DWP have established that applicants whose ESF projects are approved on or after 24 October 2017 can use money received from the government, paid from an employer’s Apprenticeship Levy digital account as match funding.
ESIF Managing Authorities (MAs), DWP (ESF) and DCLG (ERDF), are required to complete an ‘Annual Information Activity’ every year. The activity is a period of enhanced publicity work showcasing the achievements of ESF and ERDF and the opportunities available through the funds. This year, in England, it will take place from Monday 6 November.
Walsall Council’s Black Country Impact team have opened a new hub to help young adults find education, employment and training opportunities. The Impact Hub was officially opened by Deputy Leader of Walsall Council and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration Councillor Lee Jeavons and Councillor Aftab Nawaz, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services. The hub will help provide a brighter future for unemployed young adults aged 16-29 by tackling the barriers they are facing to help improve their chances of finding an opportunity.
A presentation was held to celebrate three young adults who completed a Princes Trust programme in partnership with Walsall Council’s Black Country Impact team, City of Wolverhampton College and One Stop. The programme saw the participants put over £5,000 back into the local community whilst also improving their future career prospects.
Walsall Council’s Black Country Impact team has provided advice, support and funding to help turn a young adult’s aspirations of becoming self employed into a reality. Mark Fullerton, 27, from Walsall, who has a degree in Musical Instrument Making, was unemployed and struggling to find a route into self employment when he approached Black Country Impact.