LEP pledges an additional £250,000 for its Community Challenge Fund

The Community Challenge Fund seeks to support disadvantaged people into work

The Community Challenge Fund seeks to support disadvantaged people into work - Credit: Archant

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has pledged further funding for a project that has supported more than a thousand people furthest from the labour market to find a job or become work ready.

Doug Field chairman of the New Anglia LEP

Doug Field chairman of the New Anglia LEP - Credit: Angela Sharpe Photography

The LEP’s board approved an additional £250,000 for its Community Challenge Fund, extending the project into a fourth year.

Since its inception, the initiative, which is delivered in partnership with Norfolk and Suffolk Community Foundations, has worked with more than 30 organisations from the voluntary and community sector (VCS), supporting back-to-work projects in industries including construction, catering, farming and media production.

These projects offer helps people overcome physical, mental, behavioural and social obstacles to gain the confidence and skills to enter the job market.

Over three previous funding rounds, the Community Challenge Fund has awarded £605,000 for projects pledging to help 279 people into paid employment and a further 724 become work ready.

Chairman of New Anglia LEP, Doug Field, said: “Over its first three years the Community Challenge Fund has supported projects across Suffolk and Norfolk in their vital work, helping hundreds of people into work or into a position where they can confidently look for work.

“As a member of the grants panel I’ve seen at first hand the difference this work can make to the lives of people across the East. Inclusive growth is a key theme of the Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy. This new commitment will help us achieve our ambition to grow our economy for the benefit of everyone.”

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The LEP and Community Foundations will be seeking new applicants in the Spring.