The new North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) has pledged £3million to help get people back into work.

Cash will be given to organisations seeking funds for education and training projects in the North of Tyne area, which covers Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside. Successful bids to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be supported with matched funds from the £3m NTCA devolved Investment Fund, to gain European Social Fund (ESF) grants.

A matched fund is where costs are shared between two or more organisations – where one organisation provides a pound for every pound pledged by the other.

Here’s a link to the application forms online: If you want to tackle unemployment and improve skills in the North of Tyne area we’re looking for innovative projects to fund. Click the link above for more information ☝️

NTCA cabinet member for employability and inclusion Cllr Joyce McCarty said it was time to take advantage of the ESF fund – much of which remains unspent.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for organisations across our region,” Cllr McCarty said. “As the Combined Authority, we’ve set aside £3M of our funding to offer a match for anyone who is applying for funding through the DWP to the European Social Fund. There is a lot of resource sitting in the Local Enterprise Partnership funds for the North East and we want that spent in our part of the region. This is a way of encouraging organisations across the three local authorities of Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside to apply for some of that money, with matched funds.”

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The minimum contract values and requirements for match-funding can often mean that many organisations are discouraged from applying for this funding.

Cllr McCarty said: “We have many organisations that wouldn’t dream of applying for this kind of money. I’m thinking in particular of voluntary sector organisations that would not have the resources themselves to match this fund. This gives them an opportunity.”

The £3m matched funds will be targeted at projects that address the aims of the Combined Authority. Creating sustainable new jobs is one of those aims. NTCA has committed also to providing a high-quality education system for everybody in the North of Tyne area, with continued training and skills development once in work.

Cllr McCarty said: “It is about creating new jobs and training. It’s also about helping people who are in work currently but who might need special access to funding for training, or resources to support them in their work. We will provide the matched funds provided those who apply are helping us to deliver on the targets that we are setting.”

The closing date for applications is October 3.