Representatives from thirty community organisations across South Leeds met recently to discuss the opportunity to bid for £2 million of funding from the European Union.
“Community Led Local Development is designed specifically to enable local communities to address social inclusion and key issues in local communities. Funding is available through the European Structural and Investment Funds programme for 2014-2020.
“CLLD is developed and delivered through a Local Action Group, a partnership grouping which must include public, private and third sector representation, which will ultimately make the decisions about activity to be funded. Projects within the programme should be delivered by small locally based organisations.”
Groups at the meeting were asked to consider the needs and priorities of the area and the sorts of projects that should be funded. In discussions some common themes emerged around helping people into work and dealing with debt and benefit problems.
The funding could be managed in one of two ways. The pot could be held centrally and local groups could bid for grants to run projects. Alternatively it could be managed as a single project, commissioning work from local organisations to meet a common strategy.
Inner South Leeds has been identified as one of 8 areas across the Leeds City Region to receive this funding from the EU’s ‘Growth Programme’. The bulk of the £340m coming to the city region will be spent on large scale business and environmental infrastructure projects. Just 5% has been identified for Community Led Local Development.
The £2m pot is made up of £1 from Brussels and £1m ‘match’ funding. Match funding can come from a variety of sources – the Lottery, private companies, the Council, etc. The money will be spent over eight years from 2015 to 2023.
The plans will be further developed with an Expression of Interest being submitted to the government in June 2014 and a full bid by March 2015.