|Applications accepted from social enterprises?||Yes|
|Maximum||Awards of £20,000|
The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for Norfolk and Suffolk is focused on helping to drive forward sustainable economic growth in our area – with local businesses, education providers, voluntary and social enterprise and the public sector working together to achieve this. We are fortunate to have a vibrant Voluntary & Social Enterprise (VSE) sector which contributes significantly to the local economy. Its potential is often over-looked and that is why we are resolved to work even harder with the sector to maximise its contribution to jobs, skills and enterprise. Although funds are tight we believe that the sector can generate creative solutions to improve people’s skills in their local communities. This is why we are piloting a new way of supporting what they do best and what they can do better with the LEP Community Challenge.
What is the LEP Community Challenge?
The Voluntary & Social Enterprise sector is highly innovative and already makes a significant contribution to economic development and social inclusion in the LEP area. There is however still untapped potential for greater input by the sector to bring their experience and innovation which will further benefit the LEP area’s economy and the community, and increase their impact. Examples include increasing skills, training, volunteering, social action and other activities to improve pathways and access into employment for people experiencing multiple disadvantages.
If someone is homeless, suffering from mental ill health, an ex-offender, a family carer or has a learning disability, they are less likely to be working, training or volunteering. Those made redundant, or the long-term jobless, need tailored support to get back into the labour market. Often they ‘fall through the service gaps’ as their problems are too complex for one organisation to deal with. They need support from a range of different services and coordinating this is a challenge. Many need long-term support to get and keep a job. Young people are more likely than ever not to be in work, education or training.
There are parts of the LEP area where employers report they are struggling to find suitably qualified staff whilst there are pools of unemployed people currently ill equipped to take up the opportunities. Providing targeted help to match the needs of local businesses with the pools of unemployed people can address this problem.
The LEP Community Challenge
We are offering awards and prizes for innovation that can improve and develop people’s skills to access sustained employment by generating new local solutions and maximising positive training, and other positive outcomes for them.
The target outcomes include supporting 300 disadvantaged people to become job-ready and 100 to gain paid employment within the LEP area over the lifetime of the programme.
During 2017 – 2018, 9 LEP Challenge Awards of £20,000 each will be presented to successful applicants to run their project to tackle the LEP Community Challenge over a maximum 12 month period. The 2 most successful projects will each receive an extra £25,000 Prize to sustain and scale up their solutions to the LEP Community Challenge.
Proposals are invited to run a project (for a maximum of a 12 month period) tackling the LEP Community Challenge with a view to us selecting 9 Awards in the first year. The Challenge programme will be run on a staged basis allowing for the testing of new approaches and then additional prize funding to sustain further activities for the most successfully run projects.
The successful applicants who receive the £20,000 awards will be those that best meet the criteria set out below:
Correlation with Challenge Themes – Winning entries will need to show clearly how they match the key Challenge themes of increasing Skills and Jobs for people facing multiple challenges in less affluent neighbourhoods.
Innovation and sharing learning – The LEP is looking for new approaches, or ideas combined or implemented in new ways, designed to maximise impact and share learning. All entrants will need to demonstrate a willingness to share their experiences and learning to help establish a body of knowledge that can bring about a sustained change in the culture of giving and understanding between the VSE and private sector in particular.
Need – Local need will have to be well defined and evidenced in winning proposals.
Giving and Engagement with Businesses – The LEP will be particularly keen to see engagement between the VSE sector and business; and the creation of opportunities for people and businesses to give time, skills and resources to develop the skills of multiple disadvantaged individuals in less affluent neighbourhoods. Match-funding, including in-kind support, will strengthen a proposal.
Measurable Impact – Winning proposals will need to show significant and measurable improvement in the development of disadvantaged people’s skills and opportunities for employment in less affluent neighbourhoods.
Collaborative Working – The LEP will be keen to see collaborative working between different organisations, with potential for joint applications encouraged where they are clearly appropriate.
Asset-based approach – Winning proposals will need to present an approach to their project that builds on the skills, knowledge, talents and ‘assets’ that people and communities have.
Potential for scaling up – The LEP is looking for proposals that can act as exemplars, and contain ideas that have further potential to grow and be replicated. By demonstrating successful approaches on a pilot basis, VSE organisations and partnerships will be better placed to secure other funding for extending their programme from different sources.
Sustainability – The LEP recognises that in austere financial times ALL projects will need to work very hard to prove the need for their continuance beyond the life of the prize. All winning proposals will need to show how the positive impacts for disadvantaged people can be sustained; it recognises that this will be challenging.
Organisational capacity and track record – Winning proposals will show clearly that they are led by organisations with strong track records and teams that have a wide range of appropriate skills.
The Challenge is open to any Registered Charity and Social Enterprise organisation but it is not open to individuals or non-constituted groups. FE Colleges and Schools can be part of a collaborative proposal but not a lead applicant. Please note Challenge proposals should focus on employability outcomes for adults and/ or NEET young people (not in education, employment or training.)
The proposed response to the Challenge e.g. the project, will take place in the LEP area and beneficiaries will be resident in the LEP area.
The potential to involve business partners in proposals addressing the LEP Challenge is a unique dimension to the process and leading to outcomes centred on businesses in the LEP area becoming more focused on solutions to the difficulties faced by multiple disadvantaged people, and the support that they can offer to VSE action.
Proposers need to ensure that you have, or can quickly put in place, the capacity within your organisation or partnership to develop and pilot your idea/s.
Awards and prizes cannot be used to fund activity that is party political in intention, use, or presentation nor to support or promote religious activity. It will not normally fund the purchase of capital equipment beyond say a modest 10% of the total proposed budget.
Challenge Stages & Timelines
Stage 1: Open Call – Initial applications
Deadline for entries – 4 November 2016
Stage 2: Up to 12 entries shortlisted Shortlisting – December 2016
Shortlisted entries will be asked to develop a detailed delivery plan
Stage 3: Finalists present their worked up proposals
9 Awards of £20,000 presented – February 2017. Project delivery April 2017 – March 2018.
Stage 4: Two most successful projects identified and £25,000 LEP prizes awarded
March 2018 – Of the 9 award winners, the two that demonstrate the maximum impact, innovative approach, mobilisation of community and business resources/support, and therefore stand out even more against the judging criteria will win prizes of £25,000.
To apply to be part of the LEP Community Challenge, applicants will need to complete and submit an application form and supporting information. The application process is managed by Norfolk Community Foundation in partnership with Suffolk Community Foundation. Applicants should submit their application to the community foundation covering the area in which they will deliver the project. If your project is working across both counties please use the location of the lead partner to determine where to submit your bid.
Suffolk Community Foundation
Andrea Pittock, Grants Manager
Emma Rawlingson, Grants Officer
01473 786917/01473 786912
This initiative has been built upon a successful model developed by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP) LEP and we place on record our thanks to them for allowing us to adopt their model for the NALEP area.