COMMUNITY groups are being invited to apply for grants of up to £12,000.
The Community Foundation of Northumberland has secured the funding through its partnership with foundations in Durham, Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley and the Acumen Development Trust.
The contract is to deliver a £1m European Social Funding (ESF) community grants programme across the region until 2013.
The four foundation partners worked together during the competitive bidding process.
The three-year programme is an opportunity to make a difference in a time of recession and will ensure a total of over £1m is made available to help community and voluntary groups support the unemployed and inactive move closer to employment.
ESF Community Grants will provide awards of up to £12,000 to groups undertaking activities including help with basic skills, work experience, training advice and guidance, job search assistance, confidence building, personal development and support to overcome barriers to training and employment.
The emphasis of funding, although not exclusive, is on black minority ethnic, over 50s, females, lone parents and those with health conditions or disabilities.
The fund is now open for applications and those interested should apply directly to Mark Pierce on (0191) 222 0945.
Details of the programme, guidelines and application forms can be downloaded via www.cdcf.org.uk/european-social-fund/