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Grant scheme launched to help people develop skills and find employment in West Northants

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has launched a new grant scheme which aims to support local people to develop their learning and skills and help them get into work.

The Skills for Communities grant scheme is open to community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations that operate, or are prepared to operate, within the geographical area of West Northamptonshire and must be used to provide support to residents aged 16+ who are no longer in full-time education and who would like to develop existing or learn new skills.

Local voluntary and community organisations including registered charities, community interest companies and social enterprises are invited to apply for the grants of between £10,000 and £300,000.

Funded using £500,000 of UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF), a central part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda, this grant funding will be available over the 2024/25 financial year and will be awarded to organisations who address an identified local need by supporting people to enter the world of work, including voluntary work.

Examples of how the grant can be used include:

  • – delivering training towards qualifications or building life skills
  • – improving communication skills and social skills
  • – increasing confidence, work experience, coaching or other support
  • – supporting literacy and digital skills

The Skills for Communities grant scheme compliments WNC’s existing Multiply programme which is already delivering numeracy skills to local people. The grants cannot be used to fund activity already supported through other funding streams such as the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “The Skills for Communities grant scheme is one of many ways in which we are actively investing in local people and communities to make West Northants the perfect place to live, work, visit and thrive.

“This grant funding will help to boost core skills and support those aged 16+ to progress in work whilst encouraging innovative approaches to reducing adult learning barriers, both of which will help more people into employment and support a thriving economy here in West Northants.

“I encourage all eligible Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Organisations to submit an application for this funding.”

For more information email  The guidance document and application forms will then be sent to you electronically.

The deadline for submitting your completed application to WNC is 5pm on Friday, 24 May 2024.

Contact Information

West Northamptonshire Council Communications Team

Notes to editors

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

The UKSPF underpins the Government’s agenda to support Levelling Up. Its primary goal is to build pride in place and increase life chances across all parts of the UK. These ambitions are built on three investment priorities:

  • Communities and place
  • Supporting businesses
  • People and skills

Each area of the UK received a UKSPF allocation for local investment, with £5.4M awarded to West Northamptonshire.

To secure its allocation the Authority submitted an Investment Plan setting out delivery priorities aligned to local needs; aiming to tackle issues critical to West Northamptonshire’s growth, productivity, and economic inclusion. The plan, which was shaped through engagement and consultation with local partners and stakeholders and is underpinned by business intelligence and research data received Government sign off in December 2022.

For more information visit GOV.UK – UK Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus.

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