We know that some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Folkestone are disconnected from economic opportunities.
People - especially young people and the over 50s - can find it hard to get local jobs. Other personal circumstances can also present extra challenges.
Folkestone Community Works funds projects which help residents and businesses to make the most of existing and new opportunities.
What is Folkestone Community Works?
The programme aims to improve social and economic cohesion in the east, central and harbour areas of Folkestone by funding projects which:
- Help residents to access jobs
- Support residents to become entrepreneurs
- Assist local businesses and start-ups to grow
- Provide new job opportunities
F&HDC successfully secured £2.49m of European Structural and Investment Fund funding, which means - that with match funding - a total of £4.9m is being invested in these wards.
The programme runs until 2023 and there are two strands:
- Employability projects - helping unemployed and economically inactive residents on their journey into employment or into education and training to support their chosen career. These projects are part-funded by the European Social Fund.
- Business and enterprise projects - providing business support to assist residents to become entrepreneurs and helping local businesses and start-ups to grow and create new jobs. Support includes free business advice, a SME business grant scheme and the creation of modern business space and hubs. These projects are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Can the projects help me?
Employability projects are open to unemployed or economically inactive people who live in the Folkestone Community Works area.
Business and enterprise projects are open to any business or start-up located in Folkestone Community Works area. Residents who are thinking about starting a business including a sole trader can access business support.
Enterprising Opportunities, led by Social Enterprise Kent (business support)
This project provides support to social enterprises and small and micro businesses in Folkestone. It offers 12 hours of tailored one-to-one support, as well as guided practical workshops.
Who can apply for project funding?
Organisations, charities and businesses can apply for funding.
The Local Action Group - made up of local businesses and community leaders - looks at all projects put forward and recommends those that should be funded.
Folkestone & Hythe District Council is the accountable body and will administer the project application process and delivery of the programme.
Where can I find out more?
For more information, visit www.folkestonecommunityworks.com