Fusion Awarded Third Building Better Opportunities contract to help long term unemployed

Worcestershire has received more good news regarding funding to support long term unemployed people into work.

The Big Lottery Fund and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership has announced that Fusion, a consortium of Worcestershire based not for profit organisations has added to their success from earlier rounds of this funding, and been successful in securing a further investment of £1.1 million of Lottery and European Social Investment Funding to help long term unemployed into work.

The Worcestershire Building Better Opportunities has been shaped by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and is part of the European Social Investment Fund 2014-2020 programme to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.

Fusion was created in 2014 with the vision of Housing Partners and specialist local Voluntary Community Sector organisations coming together to deliver Worcestershire wide economic and social inclusion solutions. In addition to Housing and Voluntary Community Sector, Fusion also has the support of strategic partners, including the District Councils, Heart of Worcestershire College and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

Vestia Community Trust, part of the Community Housing Group, led the work to establish Fusion and acts as lead in the management and delivery of Building Better Opportunities contracts in Worcestershire.

Having been successful in two other Building Better Opportunity contracts, this award brings the total investment secured for Worcestershire to over £3million; and has established a county-wide programme of Employment Support for those furthest from the job market up to March 2020.

Marina Banner, Executive Director said ‘With this further investment and with our Fusion partners already working extremely well together, we are confident we can continue to achieve the ambitious targets set by the Big Lottery Fund and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership; as well as improving people’s lives through supporting them to gain employment’.

Clare Jackson, Chair of Fusion and Executive Director Housing, Care & Communities with Fortis Living commented, ‘This further success is great news, as it will enhance the work already commenced by Fusion partners to help some of the most vulnerable people into sustained employment. Fortis Living is proud to be a key partner in the success of Fusion and Building Better Opportunities’.

Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP) commented, ‘We are delighted Fusion has been successful in a further bid; their performance on existing Building Better Opportunities contracts is outstanding and we are confident they will continue to perform at this level. WLEP and businesses in Worcestershire are committed to bringing prosperity to the county and all its residents; and we see Fusion and the Building Better Opportunities programme as a key element to our ‘Inclusive Growth’ commitment’.

To find out more about Fusion and Building Better Opportunities visit their website here.