Building Better Opportunities

Progress, Building Better Opportunities

The National Lottery Community Fund is matching funds from the European Social Fund for projects across England that tackle poverty and promote social inclusion.

Area
England
What’s it all about?

The National Lottery Community Fund is matching funds from the European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020 to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.

The funding will be delivered in 38 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas according to local priorities, which have been set by the LEPs themselves. It will support a variety of projects, ranging from those improving employability for the most disadvantaged, helping those with multiple and complex needs, to improving financial literacy.

The amount of funding varies across different areas as LEPs and the LEP area European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) Sub Committees have decided how much of their ESF allocation to devote to this strand of work.

In your area

Cross-Cutting Themes

The BBO programme has two Cross-Cutting Themes, mainstreamed across all partnership work and project delivery. The two themes help ensure that BBO delivers fairer, greener engagement and support for a huge range of people:

  1. Environmental Sustainable Development
  2. Equality & Equal Opportunities

For each of the two themes, all BBO partnerships (grant holders and their partner organisations) are required to upkeep relevant policies and specific action plans to demonstrate progress over time. These policies and plans are subject to regular scrutiny through quarterly reporting, periodical audits and evaluation.

The two themes hold deep resonance for communities, VCSE organisations and The National Lottery Community Fund alike. Indeed, the two themes loudly chime with two of the guiding principles inside TNLCF: Climate Action and E.D.I. (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion).

BBO’s dual focus on ‘environment/climate action’ and ‘equalities/EDI’

BBO is a significant programme: over £500 Million of multi-annual funding since 2016, supporting well over 100 partnerships (approx. 2,000 organisations, majority VCSE/Voluntary sector).

That large scale and multi-annual nature is due to BBO having been co-financed, through TNLCF investment alongside European Social and Investment Funding (part of European Social Funding). Certain EU policy drivers have underpinned the BBO programme since its initial design and from its launch in 2016. These policy pieces are like the DNA of BBO, they span ‘social inclusion’, ‘combating poverty’, and ‘combating discrimination of any kind’.

Such clear policy pieces helped shape the programme’s Equality and Equal Opportunities cross-cutting theme. As for the Environmental cross-cutting theme, the programme’s main aims of boosting employability and employment, as well as training and education, directly relate to only two of the three sustainable development goals – the social and the financial – that have become the international standard since the turn of this century. The third goal – environmental sustainability – was effectively missing. So the focus on environment/climate action made sense as the other cross-cutting theme actioned during this programme.

Impact

Building Better Opportunities projects will support more than 100,000 people overall. The programme will help these individuals to overcome multiple complex needs, build confidence and resilience, and become less isolated from their local communities.

Visit the case studies page to read about some of the people who have been helped so far.

Reports on progress are collected quarterly, and are then validated at The National Lottery Community Fund. As of the end of June 2018 (quarter 2):

54,509 participants in total had registered to Building Better Opportunities projects.

13,589 of these were participants over 50 years of age, 27,040 participants had disabilities and 12,268 participants were of an Ethnic Minority.

So far, 3,604 have secured employment, 3,244 have moved into education or training and 2,992 have gone from being ‘economically inactive’ to job searching.

Support for grantholders

For Building Better Opportunities, The National Lottery Community Fund is matching funding from the European Social Fund. It is important that grant holders follow the regulations laid down by the ESF. Our Guide to delivering European funding will support you in applying these requirements.

Our Building Better Opportunities resources page contains documents from throughout the programme. Here you can find general information about the programme, logos, templates, FAQs and lessons learned in delivering the programme.

The National Lottery Community Fund has appointed Ecorys to deliver the national evaluation and learning services for this programme. The evaluation concentrates on examining how the programme is implemented, primarily concerning access and impact. Valuable learning along the way will be shared here

If you have a query about Building Better Opportunities, please contact esf@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk or call 0345 4 10 20 30.

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