2011 Funding Opportunities

Huge opportunities for funding are coming your way in 2011 – providing they fit with your core mission, and preparation for the tenders needs to start now. Significant numbers of government department, public agency and European Union contracts will be put out to open and competitive tendering from late 2010 through to spring 2011. Some of the major ones are highlighted below:

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP): DWP has been finalising the tender specifications for £13million of European Social Fund projects. Tenders will have a likely focus on individuals experiencing drug abuse/homelessness, and Job Seeker Allowance claimants who have been on the register over 6 months.

Skills Funding Agency (SFA): SFA will be commissioning approximately 80% of all ESF monies. Tenders will have a likely focus on higher level skills (level 3), young people’s NEET group,  ‘green’ learning and ‘employer responsive learning’. The tendering window is from Nov 2010 – Mar 2011.

Community Grants: The funding pot called Community Grants, which reserves ESF money for the third sector, will be re-launched. Under previous programmes (including ‘Global Grants’) this allowed for frontline third sector organisations to bid for a maximum of £12,000 per organisation, representing an ESF in ‘bite-size’ opportunity. The tendering timescale for this is likely to be Jan 2011 at the earliest.

Leonardo Da Vinci Programme: the Leonardo da Vinci programme one of the four programmes that make up the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme and is designed to build a skilled workforce through European partnerships. Leonardo funds overseas work placements and the development of training materials with the objective of improving the provision of Vocational Education and Training (VET) across Europe. The Leonardo UK National Agency has announced that the next deadlines for Leonardo Mobility, Transfer of Innovation and Partnership project applications will be in February 2011.

Comenius Programme: Funding of up to €50,000 is likely to be available through the Comenius Regional Programme to promote joint cooperation activities between local and regional education authorities in other EU Regions. The aim of the programme is to strengthen the European dimension in school education and to offer European learning experiences to teachers and pupils and administrators. The partnerships will give educational authorities, in cooperation with schools and other educational institutions, the opportunity to work together on topics of mutual interest. The deadline for applications to the Comenius Regional Programme is 21 February 2011.

Youth in Action Programme:  Youth in Action aims to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and to involve them in shaping the European Union's future. It promotes mobility within and beyond the EU's borders, non-formal learning and intercultural dialogue, and encourages the inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural background. The call is open to non-profit or non-governmental organisations, local, regional public bodies, informal groups of young people, bodies active at European level in the youth field, international non-profit organisations, and profit-making organisations organising an event in the area of youth, sport or culture. There are various deadlines for applications throughout 2011.

Culture Programme: Through the Culture Programme the European Commission provides financial support to enhance the cultural area shared by Europeans with a view to encouraging the emergence of European citizenship. The Culture programme supports projects, organisations, promotional activities and research in all branches of culture, except the audio-visual branch for which there is a separate programme (MEDIA). The funding available is open to all cultural enterprises as long as they are acting in a non-profit-making cultural capacity.

Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme:  A new call for proposals has been announced, with the programme open for applications from 14 February to 14 March 2011. Within eligible areas of the UK local, regional and national authorities, NGOs, research institutions, universities and private partners can apply for funding for projects that increase innovation, enhances the quality of the environment; improves accessibility of places; and delivers sustainable and competitive communities.

Contact us and we will be pleased to offer advice on the availability and suitability of grant funding and public sector contracts for your organisation.

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