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Jobs and community wins in Sunderland

November 5, 2021


Five community projects to help both residents and businesses across Sunderland have been backed with national funding.

The projects, valued at £1.594m, are part of the Government's UK Community Renewal Fund (UKCRF).

They include schemes to improve job skills for residents as part of the growing carbon reduction economy, helping more residents benefit from city investment and regeneration job opportunities, and to strengthen community work.

Sunderland City Council's Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Paul Stewart said: "Councils, business groups and community organisations across the country were invited to apply to the Renewal Fund in June 2021.

"It would be remiss of us here at the City Council if we did not look to every opportunity for bringing more investments and funding into Sunderland as we all work together on creating a more dynamic, healthy and vibrant city.

"We have a strong track record for creating work in our city, for attracting new investments and the schemes here all about continuing and increasing those opportunities.

"As companies start new work in the growing low carbon economy it's important that residents in our city take-up these employment opportunities."

The five schemes have all been developed in partnership between the City Council and other Sunderland or locally-based organisations.

The schemes are:

* A £533,867 Innovate for Good scheme developed in partnership with the city-based North East Business Innovation Centre (BIC) to help social enterprises to develop, innovate and grow

* A £146,316 REACT scheme developed with the Sunderland North Community Business Centre (SNCBC) to help more people with training and work in the growing low-carbon and green technology economy

* A £204,000 programme developed by the Sunderland Voluntary and Community Sector Alliance in partnership with the five Sunderland area VCS networks (North, Coalfield, East, Washington and West). This is to strengthen the voluntary and community sector and allow  more residents to benefit from a career in the third sector. The alliance's works are about maximising the voice of the sector and helping build more community wealth in Sunderland

* A £196,218 Future Markets Acceleration Programme developed in partnership with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP). This is to help city businesses target new export markets and more international trading opportunities

* A £514,566 Community Renewal Grants scheme developed in partnership with Gateshead Council for grants to non-profit and charity groups in Sunderland who help people back into work.

Cllr Stewart added: "Schemes backed by the fund are going to help residents into new employment by improving their employability and attractiveness to employers, help guide our companies with new markets and products. And, we are strengthening the role of our community and voluntary sector. These are all important parts of our City Plan for a more dynamic, healthy and vibrant 21st century Sunderland."

The UKCRF is the forerunner to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund - which will replace the European Structural Funds following UK exit of the EU.  

Paul McEldon, Chief Executive of the BIC, added: "This award will give a welcome boost to the social enterprises in our city to provide resources and support for them to further innovate and grow."

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