Skills and Opportunities Fund – 2nd Round for 2016

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Our Skills & Opportunities Fund is one of the many ways we’re contributing to the communities we live and work in. In 2015, we committed £2.5m to fund projects in charities, social enterprises, community groups, state-funded schools and colleges across the UK and Ireland. Our focus for this funding is to support organisations that help people in disadvantaged communities develop, create or access the skills and opportunities they need to help themselves; skills that will enable them to get into work or start a business, now or in the future. We believe that helping people gain such skills and access opportunities to learn can help turn their lives around and build better communities for everyone; when we build stronger communities, we all grow.

We want to support as many people and organisations as possible. So even if we don’t shortlist your project, we may be able to help you in other ways. This might include offering our skills and expertise to help you get your project off the ground in addition to a grant. To be eligible for this type of support, make sure your project meets the regional priorities and the set criteria, and – where we believe we can add value and your project has particular merit – we will contact you.

Supporting local communities

We’ve split the country into seven regions, each with its own decision making board, in order to distribute our Skills & Opportunities Fund. Although all regions will be looking to fund projects that enable people to help themselves, each will have differing priorities recognising regional differences. Prior to applying for funding, you must look at your region’s priorities and make sure your application complies with the requirements.

Applications for the Skills & Opportunities Fund will open on 19th August at noon and will remain open until 9th September at noon.

The North

“For this round the North Board have focussed on two specific areas of activity. Firstly, we want to fund projects that help people investigate self-employment and start their own business. We also want to support projects that aim to improve the financial education of disadvantaged people to help them manage their personal finances more effectively.”

For more information and to apply visit the Skills & Opportunities website.

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