Communities across Leeds City Region set to benefit from nearly �9m European Social Fund and Big Lottery Funding

The Big Lottery Fund is matching funds from the LEP’s allocation of European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020 to provide nearly £9m joint investment to support four local projects tackling poverty, promoting social inclusion and boosting local economies.

The LEP is working with the Big Lottery Fund to support identified projects that best meet local need and priorities. From today, organisations will be able to apply for funding to deliver these projects, including voluntary, community and social enterprise groups. Eligible projects will provide learning and training opportunities for people to increase their confidence and learn new skills that will put them on the path to employment.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP and the European Structural and Investment Funds Shadow Sub Committee said:

“We are pleased to be working with the Big Lottery Fund to invest in projects across the Leeds City Region that will help tackle poverty, boost the economy and promote social inclusion.

“The Leeds City Region is within the top 10% most deprived areas in the country with 18% of our residents out of work. I do not believe it is acceptable that in this day and age, almost a fifth of our households in the Leeds City Region live in fuel poverty. By working with our local voluntary, community and social enterprise groups to tackle this issue head on, we can support more people into good quality jobs, ultimately helping us achieve our ambition of transformational, good economic growth across our region.

“Given the global economic and political climate, it is especially pleasing to secure funding to help refugees facing barriers to work alongside the support for disadvantaged families in our region. We look forward to building upon this opportunity to bring further support to our residents looking to exploit opportunities for a better future.”

Three projects across the Leeds City Region were launched yesterday (8 October 2015) to address families facing disadvantage and give them the tools and support to turn their lives around. These will focus on addressing issues early before they develop into problems like antisocial behavior, criminal activity or exclusion from school, all of which create significant barriers to getting in to work.

Another project in the Leeds City Region LEP area will help refugees facing barriers to work, providing regular and flexible support from personal advisors, and engagement with potential employers to help secure jobs. The project will be culturally sensitive, with provision for people for whom English is not their first language and specialist support for issues like navigating the asylum system.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon 30 November 2015. For more information, please see