The new £5m GMCA Community Grants Programme will fund a number of projects across Greater Manchester. Local Voluntary and community sector (VCSE) organisations and Housing Associations can bid for funding up to £100k. This community funding will launch local projects to help disadvantaged, excluded unemployed and economically inactive people to take the next steps towards further education.

This programme is intended to be as accessible as possible. To help with this, we will also offer various capacity building support to our smaller voluntary and community organisations that want to apply.

There are two main strands of activity to support residents, with a wide range of progression opportunities available:

1. Essential Life Skills grants

This grant strand centres on developing essential life skills. It is funded via Greater Manchester Multiply & Greater Manchester devolved Adult Education Budget.

Currently, only 8.7% of adults of working age in Greater Manchester who have previously achieved Level 1 or below are using the Adult Education Budget to acquire new skills. As a result, the Essential Life Skills grants will fund fresh and inventive methods to engage with GM residents. Local projected funded will support adults in Greater Manchester into further skills provision. This is can any skills provision that meet local residents' needs.

2. Progression towards Inclusive Employment grants

This grant strand receives funding from the UKSPF. It is closely connected to broader UKSPF People & Skills initiatives, as well as other work and skills-related activities, such as Working Well.

The funding available is for re-engagement and engagement activity. These projects will help residents overcome the barriers that are preventing them from taking part in existing programmes.

The WEA will be working closely with the GMCA & key stakeholders throughout this programme, to ensure grants are strategically targeted. This ensure the support will reach those who need it most and it will be delivered in the heart of communities, as well as responding to any new priorities that occur. GMCA also want to ensure all boroughs get an equitable share for their residents.

We particularly want to hear from Greater Manchester community groups, voluntary organisations and housing associations who are interested in bidding for funding or looking for grants in Greater Manchester. Whether you are looking at a small grant or a large grant of up to £100,000.

Learn more and apply here.

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