• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Project Aims to put Communities in the Driving Seat

A £5.8m drive to close the gap between Sunderland’s neighbourhoods has been launched in the city.

The Sunderland Community Led local Development Programme (CLLD) is a five year programme aimed at stimulating the local economy to deliver jobs and growth by supporting activity that addresses local needs and opportunities.

Funded with the help of £3.05m of European Funding and a further £2.75 match funding, the project will deliver wide-ranging social and economic benefits in the areas being targeted by supporting activities designed to:

• Enhance people’s skills and employment prospects
• Boost enterprise and entrepreneurship
• Improve community capacity, partnership working and social innovation

Councillor Cecilia Gofton, Portfolio Holder for Responsive Services and Customer Care, said: “This is all about bringing together local communities to explore and understand the challenges and experiences in their own communities and helping them to come up with positive solutions to tackle these.

“There will be significant investment and opportunities in the local economy over the coming years as Sunderland Economic Masterplan ‘3,6,9 vision’ is realised. The vision aims to generate new jobs, increase the employment rate, enhance skills and earnings and create a vibrant, connected and sustainable city which is attractive to residents and business alike.

Through using resources available through the CLLD programme we hope to make a real difference to the way local people, voluntary and community groups and businesses benefit from these opportunities. We’re looking to encourage new ideas, new techniques, new knowledge and new approaches ”

Mark Heskett-Saddington, Chair of the Local Action Group added: “CLLD is what it says on the tin – Community Led Local Development – a genuine approach to achieving a community led approach to working together to address social challenges and local priorities.

“From the outset the Sunderland approach has fully involved the community in developing and shaping the plans, priorities, and processes. In doing so, we’ve benefitted from the full support of the City Council to enable to CLLD ambitions to be realised.”

The programme is focussed on specific areas of Sunderland’s urban core and Washington in the west, along the Sunderland Strategic Highway corridor. This area has been identified because of need in those communities in addition to the proximity to key employment and regeneration sites in the city.

These include clusters in Pallion, Redhill, Southwick, Millfield, Sandhill, Hendon and Washington North.

Among its targets, the programme aims to help:

• More than 2,200 people in some of the city’s most disadvantaged communities to take advantage of employability, training and skills development activities
• 419 people into work or training after the support
• 259 participants into employment including self-employment
• 171 people who aren’t currently in work or looking for work into employment or job search on leaving
• 317 potential entrepreneurs ready to set up their own businesses
• 155 enterprises receiving support, of which 109 will be new enterprises
• Increase the numbers employed by 116 full time employees in those enterprises which are supported

Following a launch event at Sunderland College, workshops are being held in target communities to bring partners together to identify and develop applications for a share of the funding.

More information about the project is available at: www.sunderlandclld.org.uk

By Emily