Programme Development Funding for Building Better Opportunities

VOLA (through Sefton CVS as lead body) in partnership with LCVS and Network for Europe (NfE) have been successful in their bid to the Big Lottery Fund to run the Programme Development phase of their Building Better Opportunities (ESF opt-in) programme, which is part of the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) 2014-20 programme.  Building Better Opportunities sits under the ‘social inclusion and combating poverty’ strand of the ESIF programme.

The ESIF programme is being overseen at a local level by the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and over the next few months, we will be working with the local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector, the LEP and the Big Lottery Fund to shape the development of LCR’s Building Better Opportunities programme.

To this end, we will:

  1. Ensure there is widespread awareness of the ESF opportunities available locally through the opt in with the Big Lottery Fund, with potential future applicants fully informed of the requirements, risks and responsibilities involved, and given the opportunity to discuss the LEP’s priorities and local need:
    • Provide regular updates (through our respective e-networks, newsletters & websites) on developments with Building Better Opportunities and the wider ESIF programme.
      If you don’t think you are on our distribution list, contact our named contact to get on the list
    • Run awareness raising workshops – see below for dates, venues and booking details
    • Consult with the VCSE sector on competing priorities for this funding
    • Run a series of capacity building workshops early 2015 covering topics such as monitoring & admin, impact measurement, Quality Improvement and ESF cross-cutting themes (E&D and Sustainable Development) – which will all be key considerations/ requirements relating to ESF delivery.
  2. Develop positive working relationships between organisations in LCR, which will lead to good quality applications to the main ESF programme from 2015.
  3. Provide a named contact to provide information, deal with enquiries, etc.

The partnership of VOLA, LCVS and NfE is well placed lead on this project, working closely with the LEP and the Big Lottery Fund to influence local European funding priorities.

  • Tony Okotie (LCVS CEO) and Val Jones (Chair of Network for Europe and CEO of SENW) both sit as VCSE sector representatives on the LEP European sub-committee;
  • Andy Churchill (Network for Europe CEO) is involved in a range of LEP and European funding groups and committees in LCR and across the North West
  • Stuart McGrory (VOLA Consortium Manager) sits as VCSE representative on the LCR Employment and Skills Steering Group.

Through this project, in addition to the core aim of shaping the Big Lottery Fund funding priorities, we intend to inform and consult with the VCSE sector on plans for Liverpool City Region’s wider ESIF programme.



  • Liverpool – Monday 10th November, 1.00–3.30pm (registration from 12.30).
    Venue TBC.
    Only few places left – booking closes Friday 7th Nov midday – Link to book
  • Birkenhead – Thursday 13th Nov, 10am–12.30pm (registration from 9.30).
    Venue: The Lauries Centre , 142 Claughton Road, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 6EY.
    Please follow this link to book your place. (Maximum 40 places).
  • Kirkby – Thursday 20th Nov, 1.00–3.30pm (registration from 12.30).
    Venue: The Bracknell Centre (home of Activate Arts), Bracknell Avenue, Southdene, Kirkby, L32 9PW.
    Please follow this link to book your place. (Maximum 40 places).
  • Widnes – Friday 28th Nov, 1.00–3.30pm (registration from 12.30)
    Venue: St Marie’s (Halton and St Helens VCA), Lugsdale Road, Widnes, WA8 6DB.
    Please follow this link to book your place. (Maximum 40 places)
  • Sefton – Tuesday, 9th Dec, 10.00 – 12.00 a.m. (registration from 9.30)
    SingPlus, Cambridge Rd, Waterloo, L21 1EZ (Max 40 places)
    Please follow this link to book your place. (Maximum 40 places)


Please note:
These workshops are not place specific, i.e. the Liverpool one won’t just be discussing Liverpool related things.  Rather we are providing a range of dates and locations across LCR to enable people from different parts of the area to attend.

Please also note the above maximum number of places each workshop, so book your place asap to avoid disappointment.  Should demand significantly exceed the number of places available, we can potentially organise extra events.

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