£210,000 to boost community projects

Minister for Faith and Integration Lord Bourne and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced a £210,000 funding boost to be shared among Near Neighbours community projects in England.

The Near Neighbours scheme brings together diverse communities and different faiths, through a range of activities that improve their lives and the local community in which they live.

According to a statement from the DCLG, the first projects set to benefit from the funding include those improving employability through basic literacy and numeracy classes, and those bringing communities together in unique ways to build personal skills such as sewing classes and hospitality training to improve local relationships.

Lord Bourne said: “Near Neighbours has a great track record in encouraging individuals from different backgrounds, faiths and cultures to come together, build understanding and make their neighbourhoods even better places to live.

“This funding boost will help Near Neighbours projects to support individuals to develop important basic skills as well as support projects that encourage greater community integration.”

Paul Hackwood, executive director of the Church Urban Fund and Near Neighbours welcomed the funding: “We are grateful to the DCLG for their support in providing funding for Near Neighbours, which has been granted a total of £9.5 million by the government and has benefited over one million people so far.”