West Midlands secures £5.3 million for projects to breathe new life into communities



Eight locally-led projects designed to offer people new skills and new opportunities have been awarded more than £5m funding as part of the Government’s plans to level up communities.

These include skills training for those impacted by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and projects to close gaps in support for key groups such as the over 50s and those with a history of offending.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), working in partnership with local councils and community groups, had submitted the bids to the Government’s Community Renewal Fund.

West Midlands secures £5.3 million for projects to breathe new life into communities

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the West Midlands has secured yet more multi-million pound funding from Government to help us level up and recover from the pandemic.

“Whether it is providing young people with digital skills to secure those well-paid jobs that are out there, or targeting help to those left behind to help them achieve their true potential, this cash will make a real difference to the lives of people right across the region.

“A huge thank you and congratulations must go to those groups and partner organisations who have worked with us on their successful bids, and I am really looking forward to seeing these projects now come to life.”

Cllr Rajbir Singh, leader of Sandwell Council and WMCA portfolio holder for public service reform & social economy, added: “It is fantastic news. A host of very worthwhile organisations will benefit massively from this much-needed funding and I am very happy to see projects such as the Black Country 50 plus Partnership, are among the list of successful bidders.

“The allocation of more than £5.3m will help to support people, services and local communities right across the region.”

The projects awarded funding are:

  • £849,837 to Sandwell Council for the Black Country 50 plus partnership to plug gaps in support for residents aged 50 and over
  • £456,527 to the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership to set up the No Code digital skills project aimed at 16-19-year-olds to create the tech entrepreneurs of the future
  • £951,633 to the Good Things Foundation for the Digital Future project to get marginalised communities online, helping them access jobs and opportunities
  • £519,433 to Walsall Council for the Works+ project to help get back into work those whose jobs were lost or put at risk through the pandemic
  • £597,936 to the Chance Heritage Trust to explore opportunities to regenerate the Chance Brothers Glassworks and Soho Foundry and Mint as economic and community hubs
  • £506,113 for the Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council for its Black Country Talent Match to provide mentoring, advice, skills training and support for local young people with a background of offending
  • £766,332 for Coventry City Council’s Creative Growth and Cultural Tourism Recovery Programme
  • £719,703 for the Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council’s project with 16 local organisations to provide support to people who face barriers to achieving full citizenship.

The Government’s full announcement on Community Renewal Fund is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/200-million-boost-to-help-level-up-communities-across-the-uk

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