£30m up for grabs to boost financial confidence

LOTTERY bosses are urging people to cash in on a grants scheme.

Projects in Hartlepool could win a slice of a £30m pot from the BIG Lottery Fund’s Improving Financial Confidence programme.

The programme, which was launched yesterday, aims to help some of the country’s most vulnerable people to get a better grip on their finances, specifically focusing on residents of social housing. Research by the Department of Work and Pensions has shown that they are often the most likely to find themselves financially excluded.

To maximise the impact, funding chiefs are targeting 69 local authorities where financial advice research shows they have the most financially excluded residents.

Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, and Redcar and Cleveland are three of the North-East local authority areas where partnerships led by voluntary sector organisations can apply for lottery grants of £500,000 to £1m for three to five year projects.

Partnerships must be led by a voluntary or community sector organisation, and will need to include at least one major housing association and the local authority from the area.

The fund will be accepting one application from a partnership within each area, or two applications from local authority areas with a population of more than 40,000 people.

It runs until September 16 and people can apply by logging onto www.biglotteryfund.co.uk for more information.