Grants and Funding

The North Solihull Partnership Main Grants Programme Every year the North Solihull Partnership invests around £150,000 by inviting local community and voluntary organisations to bid for grant funding for schemes that can directly benefit and improve the economic prospects of communities in and around Chelmsley Wood, Smith's Wood and Kingshurst & Fordbridge. The programme ensures that funding is awarded to schemes that can directly provide job opportunities, access to employment or for the protection of current employment opportunities. A Socio Economic Workstream has been formerly set up to assess submissions, award the appropriate funding and monitor outputs and targets on a quarterly basis. A new application programme opens in November each year and runs for 12 months.

During 2016/17 the Main Grants Programme is funding the following projects:

Project Name Applicant  Project Outline
Moor Opportunities Solihull Moors FC Community Moors propose to to establish a training and employability programme for young people who live and reside in North Solihull. Candidates will be 16+ NEET and will be a mixture of recruits from Moors projects and referrals from other agencies, including the Job Centre. The programme will train and develop skills for its participants leading to a Level 1 qualification . Solihull Moors will then look to offer both Volunteering and Employment opportunities via partners and with the club itself. Community Moors already deliver Community Safety football projects in North Solihull in areas identified as ASB hot spots by the West Midlands Police. These projects are supported by the Safer Solihull Partnership and run in conjunction with Solihull MBC Neighborhood Activity Programme.  The existing partnerships and projects will allow us to reach out to local community and prepare them for working opportunities.
Roots to Employment Gro-Organic Roots to Employment (North Solihull) is a project that will give local young people aged 16-25 opportunities to take part in supported training, work experience and environmental activities within their local community. This will improve their chances of securing paid work or entering education. The aim is to provide a range of exciting projects to individuals who are classified as NEET, to work with them to find suitable projects and work opportunities,tailored to their individual needs. Gro-Organic have a number of local partners who have already put forward plots of land in the north of the borough as potential training sites for people to work from. This will enable the participants to gain new skills whilst also creating community gardens and outdoor facilities in the local area. The project has evolved following on from the success of last year's funding and has provided Gro Organic with a great platform to identify what activities worked and what changes need to be made. The key change to the delivery of the project is to also provide paticipants with peronalised coaching and mentoring in addition to the practical experience that they receive. In addition to the Project Manager we will also recruit an experienced landscaper / gardener to deliver the practical training at community sites.
Year Two for Sustainability Northern Star Community Arts Northern Star would like to continue to develop the organisation into a sustainable community enterprise. In 2015 Optima Housing approached Northern Star to take on and fund an apprentice for community development for 1 year. This pilot funding is now coming to an end and we are looking to develop the potential from this post. Continuing this apprenticeship for a further year would provide additional training for the employee in level 3 Health and social care, total communication training levels 1 and 2 and safeguarding training level 2. A second year would provide more in depth training in community development, specialise in learning disability work, gain skills and knowledge ensuring competence for employment and leadership. Alongside the skills development of the apprentice, it also means we will have crucial additional capacity to strengthen our business plan to increase partnerships, enterprise and revenue. As a community led service delivery agency we are in a position to develop our sustainability and reduce grant dependency.
Bullfinch Manufacturing Start-up Bullfinch Cycles Ltd Bullfinch Cycles is a start-up business being launched in 2016 by Adrian Passmore, who is also owner and MD of the long established and well regarded Red Kite Cycles Ltd of Shirley. Bullfinch Cycles is a manufacturing venture that will bring the manufacture of bicycle frames back to the West Midlands for the first time in a generation. It will be a local and national B2B and B2C retailer with a view to small scale exporting to niche markets in North America and the Far East. The products will be high-value, high-end steel bicycle frames - they will be constructed using Reynolds tubing, which is also manufactured locally in east Birmingham. Of benefit to North Solihull, Bullfinch Cycles Ltd will take up a licence agreement with SMBC on premises in North Solihull - giving an exciting new manufacturing presence in the area. This will initially last until 2017 with the ambition to extend beyond that period as the business thrives. Bullfinch Cycles will add to the skills, employment and tax base of the area, creating high skill manufacturing employment, whilst also raising the profile of the area as a sound location for business investment. Bullfinch will engage with local supply chains and the local community to raise its profile and the aspirations of the area.
Schools at the Heart of the Community - Enterprise, Careers and Regeneration Legacy Unity Trust Ltd To help safeguard a dedicated employment, skills and community development resource (Community and Business Engagement Manager) that is unable to be funded through school’s pupil premium funding and to fund activities that will act as a catalyst for business starts, creation of employment opportunities and improved utilisation of assets (including schools). This role is key to ensuring that the schools move forward Careers and Enterprise activity, by adding additional capacity and providing links to the business community / service providers and coordinating the delivery of enterprise initiatives.  This includes developing a network of mentors and role models.   Yearly activity to culminate in Enterprise Week event.  The role will also oversee the development of the investment into Excellence in the Community Centres that supports adult education. The role will seek additional funding to ensure that it can become self-sustaining in future years and will also help to develop an income generation strategy for the collaborative that will also support the role in future years.  The role will create and coordinate activities to ensure that there is a pipeline of North Solihull residents (primary source being families of pupils) that will be able to participate in future enterprise start-up initiatives.  This includes building upon the work of Starter for Ten.
Fox Learning Fox Community Group CIC A New project working with vulnerable adults from backgrounds of drug and alcohol abuse who reside in around North Solihull, that will take place within small community halls such as Crabtree Hall in Chelmsley Wood. We will work with "Changes UK" who provide support and accommodation to members of the community who have experienced drug and alcohol abuse problems and need vital support to build a life free from substances creating a partnering pathway which will enable us to facilitate ICT sessions to help build confidence in learning IT & Internet Skills to support them when preparing to move back into independent living and securing employment.
Business Start up Grant Programme SMBC Delivered by locally based, qualified business advisors, North Solihull Business Start–Up Programme would provide tailored support both face to face and through a rolling programme of business support workshops covering topics such as exploring enterprise, business planning, financial management, tax, book keeping, marketing, social media and PR. Peer to peer support would also be fostered through the establishment of a local North Solihull Enterprise Network with monthly events. The programme would be delivered from accessible community venues across North Solhull, including Chelmund’s Cross Enterprise Centre, Elmwood Place and Chelmsley Wood Library. A North Solihull Enterprise Steering Group of local stakeholders would be established to oversee delivery of the programme, coordinate enterprise activity and identify opportunities for collaboration.
North Solihull Jobs Fund SMBC North Solihull Jobs Fund aims to expand and provide a comprehensive range of subsidised jobs for young people living in North Solihull to access across varied growth sectors including Construction, New Technologies, Manufacturing and Engineering, Retail, Care, Business and Administration, and Hospitality and Leisure etc. to meet the demand of local developments and provide young people living in the regeneration wards with sustainable work outcomes. It will support the following age groups living in North Solihull offering a combination of services: Working with young people aged 16/17 years old - offering subsidised apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities with local employers· Offering a subsidised apprenticeship opportunity for a 16-24 year olds with local employers· Offering financial enhancements to recruit 18 to 24 year old young people with local employers. There is a real need to provide a flexible apprenticeship/vacancy route ways tailored to the employer and individual offering them multiple options to best meet their demands. Some businesses may require a skilled individual or someone that has received pre-employment training whereas others may need to go down a pre-apprenticeship route to build in work skills on the job. Similarly young people in North Solihull will have their own views on jobs they want to access and how they see themselves developing, which the project will be able to reflect through enabling young people to promote the Jobs Fund with employers they engage with when looking for employment.

During 2015/16 the Main Grants Programme funded the following projects:

Project Name Applicant  
Access to IT ReCOM This project targets working aged unemployed adults living in North Solihull that are in receipt of benefit that have no/poor ICT skills and/or confidence. ReCOM provides a service for job seekers based at Chelmsley Wood Library. Find out more here
Roots to Employment Gro-Organic This project will enable participants to develop a variety of environmental skills including landscaping, gardening, food growing and carpentry whilst dramatically improving the aesthetics of the local area
Chelmund’s Space Three Trees Three Trees Community Centre has taken on the management of Chelmund's Space in the new Bishop Wilson School. The space will be developed as an office and co-working space, to complement and add to the existing business opportunities at The Enterprise Centre in Chelmund's Cross
Unity Enterprise Plan Unity The central focus of this bid is to use the immensely strong collaboration of infant, junior, primary, special and secondary schools in North Solihull to develop a distinct Enterprise Culture in the 3 identified wards
Business Start up grant programme SMBC This Programme will offer financial assistance to individuals in the North Solihull Regeneration Wards who are wanting to start up a new business venture, become self employed or grow a young businesses (up to 24 months old).