Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Projects benefit from nearly £3.4m of government funds


An Airdrie project is one of six organisati­ons aiming to support people into work and help local enterprise­s that have been awarded a combined total of nearly £3.4 million from a new Westminste­r government fund.

They include tailored projects assisting people with disabiliti­es and additional support needs who are experienci­ng barriers to finding work; a network to increase skills and employabil­ity, including connected with marginalis­ed communitie­s; and an initiative providing targeted help in the North Lanarkshir­e ward with the highest number of people receiving benefits.

Funding is being provided from the UK community renewal fund – and the recipient community organisati­ons are now getting busy their work underway.

A new Airdrie Central community engagement project, run by Routes to Work, is receiving £484,120 to help people into employment by piloting “concentrat­ed and intense engagement, pre-employabil­ity and personal developmen­t activities on their doorstep”.

The ward has the authority’s highest benefits claimant rate, and the project will support people who are unemployed, economical­ly inactive or in insecure work.

Routes to Work chief executive Robin Turner said: “This investment will allow us to target support directly at a neighbourh­ood level to residents of the most employment­deprived area of North Lanarkshir­e.

“We’re delighted to have received this funding – through the targeted approach and our individual­ly-focused skills and employment support service, we’ll be able to provide a pathway for more local people to take advantage of the improving jobs market in the district.”

The community renewal fund payments were praised by Trevor Douglas, the Conservati­ve councillor for Airdrie Central, who said: “This important scheme will support people in our area, improving access to skills and developmen­t and helping tackle long-term unemployme­nt for good.

“We’re extremely excited that the UK government is bringing this terrific project to Airdrie and with this investment, this project can now get off the ground and start making a difference to the lives of local people.”

Party colleague Graham Simpson, the Central Scotland MSP, added: “It’s wonderful to see the UK government engaging with and supporting the needs of our local communitie­s and working to tackle unemployme­nt here in Airdrie.

“I look forward to seeing how this muchneeded and worthwhile project will benefit the town; this funding will support local people to gain valuable skills and ultimately get back into long-term work.”

The council’s own supported employment programme, Employ Me, is receiving £234,021 for a pilot programme to help 50 unemployed people with disabiliti­es to progress towards and into work – using “individual­ised support to remove barriers through an innovative delivery model that works with individual­s, partners and employers”.

Council leader Jim Logue said while visiting Routes To Work’s office in Airdrie: “These are vital projects that will help to deliver inclusive economic growth, increase skills and generate jobs and training opportunit­ies for our communitie­s; which is part of our plan for North Lanarkshir­e [to] help improve lives and reduce poverty and inequality.

“A central part of our ambition for communitie­s in North Lanarkshir­e is to equip people with the skills they need to gain meaningful and lasting employment and we work closely with a range of organisati­ons to support people into work, training or enterprise.”

North Lanarkshir­e’s support totals nearly £2.5m; while across the county, Elevating South Lanarkshir­e is receiving £874,988 from the same fund.

 ?? ?? Vital project Council leader Jim Logue with Routes to Work chief executive Robin Turner, left, during his visit to the organisati­on’s Airdrie office
Vital project Council leader Jim Logue with Routes to Work chief executive Robin Turner, left, during his visit to the organisati­on’s Airdrie office

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