Fylde community groups urged to tap bank’s skills fund

Richard Topliss
Richard Topliss
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rganisations on the Fylde coast are being invited to apply for a share of a £2.5m fund set up by NatWest.

The latest round of NatWest’s Skills and Opportunities Fund, has launched.

It is dedicated to supporting projects in disadvantaged communities that help people to help themselves by learning new skills, getting into the world of work or setting up their own business.

Charities, not-for-profit organisations and state-funded education bodies can apply for up to £35,000 each. The fund will distribute grants totalling £2.5m and is expected to reach more than 25,000 people this year.

The fund launched in May 2015, the fund has attracted more 2,700 applications from around the UK, of which 272 were shortlisted for a public vote with 158 going on to win grants of up to £35,000.

A total of 25 organisations from across the North of England received a share of funding since the launch of the Skills and Opportunities Fund.

Richard Topliss, (pictured) chairman of NatWest’s North Regional Board, said: “Since launching the Skills and Opportunities Fund last year, we have supported dozens of community groups and charities across the North West region as they deliver programmes which enhance financial education and enterprise in their communities. There is some wonderful work going on throughout the region and we look forward to learning about additional programmed as part of the application process.

“As a bank we are committed to making a difference for the communities which need it most – helping people succeed by supporting enterprise and financial education projects in disadvantaged areas.”

Eligible organisations now have until noon on Friday, September 9 to apply for the Skills and Opportunities Fund.

A panel of judges from NatWest’s North Regional Board will then draw up a shortlist of local applicants, which will be put out for public vote between Friday, October 21 and Friday, November 4.

The winners will be announced in early December.

Visit: skillsandopportunitiesfund.natwest.com