Help for mining town projects

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SOCIAL ENTERPRISES working in former mining towns and villages in Leeds and Wakefield could be eligible for a share of a £50,000 fund to help them thrive.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, which has given £260m to projects in coalfields communities 1999, has launched a new programme to offer professional guidance and support to emerging community enterprises. Those who require further help can apply for a £2,000 grant to pay for specialist help around business planning.

Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s head of operations in England, Andy Lock, said: “It can be difficult when you need help and you don’t know where to go and that is exactly why we developed this programme.

“Enterprising Communities is an ideal way for social enterprises in the coalfields to get the support they need without having to worry about escalating costs. We offer good honest advice and then signpost organisations to the specialists they need to work with.

“We have seen great success from this programme in the past and expect that the response will be positive, as people realise that there are organisations out there that are willing to help them.”

Previous businesses to receive help under the scheme include a community farm in Derbyshire, and sports trust in Rotherham.

A report by the Trust last year showed that Yorkshire’s coalfield communities are still blighted by deprivation, ill health and unemployment, a quarter of a century after the collapse of the mining industry. It said the economic impact of job losses in the wake of the 1984/84 Miners’ Strike was still “all too visible” in unemployment, benefits and health.

For more information about the programme, visit www.coalfields-regen.org.uk