An exciting new £3 million programme funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is set to provide valuable help to out-of-work residents in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland who are looking to progress into good employment.

Three innovative projects will provide support to people who are economically inactive, meaning they are not in employment, have not been recently seeking work and are not yet ready to seek work.

The programme will help people with complex or multiple challenges to work and be adapted to their individual needs. Projects will provide much needed support through activities such as one-to-one mentoring, job application advice, skills courses, help with budgeting, and health and wellbeing services.

Cllr Karen Kilgour, NTCA Cabinet Member for Education, Inclusion and Skills said: “This investment will give our residents access to specialist training and support to help them get ready to return to employment.

“Our diverse communities will really benefit from these new targeted services and interventions that will give them the confidence and the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.”

The projects are:

  • Solid Foundations – led by Citizens Advice Northumberland (CABN) delivering as Thriving Together Northumberland (TTN), with Cygnus Support, Northern Learning Trust, Community Action Northumberland, Northumberland Community & Voluntary Action, and Blyth Resource and Initiative Centre as delivery partners, providing support across Northumberland.  This project has received £1,000,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
  • Wise Group Relational Mentoring – led by The Wise Group, with Anxious Minds,  Justice Prince CIC, Jet North, Reviving the Heart of the West End, Building Futures East and Meadow Well Connected, providing support across Newcastle and North Tyneside.  This project has received £1,624,447 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
  • Progress NE – led by the North East Autism Society (NEAS) with Azure Charitable and Upstart Enterprise CIC as a delivery partners, providing specialist support to neurodivergent residents across the whole North of Tyne area. This project has received £559,373 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Kay Harrington-Kemper, TTN Project Manager said: “We are delighted to receive funding from North of Tyne Combined Authority to help us strengthen employment support services in the area.

“Northumberland has some fantastic voluntary and community organisations, but as a large rural county, projects such as Solid Foundations are essential to ensure these organisations effectively reach those who need support the most”.

John Maddison from The Wise Group said: “Across Newcastle and North Tyneside people face varied challenges to finding good work.

“This project will help us identify people’s barriers into employment and establish suitable support based on individuals’ needs.

“We’re very excited to get started and encourage residents who want to work but experience challenges with this to get in touch to see how we can help”.

The Solid Foundations and Wise Group Relational Mentoring projects will begin delivery in July, with the Progress NE project due to start in October.

This programme is funded by the UK Government through the UKPSF with the North of Tyne Combined Authority as the lead authority.  Projects are funded until 31st March 2025. For further information contact:

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025.  The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

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