Local funding to help people back into work

25 January 2021

Grants up to £20,000 are available to support people whose employment has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the local employment rate remains above average, employment across the country has seen a dip. From prolonged periods of furlough, to job losses and redundancies, 2020 presented an employment landscape never seen before, and as a result, regrettably, we are seeing a rise in unemployment rates.

Supporting employability skills development locally, the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SEMLEP) Community Grants programme will re-open for the fifth round of applications on 15 February 2021.

The programme offers voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE) grants of between £10,000 to £20,000 to deliver employability skills projects, helping vulnerable members of our community get back into work or training.

Organisations interested in applying for the programme are invited to attend an information webinar on 23 or 25 February 2021 to find out details on the programme, eligibility criteria and information on the application programme.

Gayle Parker, Project Manager at SEMLEP, said: “We’re proud to be able to support our local communities to develop new skills, confidence and gain experience while we stay at home.

“Through our Community Grants programme, we hope to inspire individuals to define their careers, while unlocking further employment growth locally.”

Becky Thornton, Development Manager, Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire, added: “We’re delighted to once more be part of SEMLEP’s Community Grants programme, offering support to organisations applying for this funding, bringing this money into the VCSE sector in the region, and equipping our communities with key skills for employment and training.”

For round five, the programme is keen to receive applications that can be delivered virtually and inline with COVID-secure guidelines, targeting those who have recently been made redundant, particularly people over 50.

For more information on the programme, events, or to express your interest, visit or email [email protected].

The Community Grants programme is delivered by SEMLEP, supported by Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire and funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Unlike other ESF-funded programmes, no match funding is required so grants can cover 100% of the project costs.