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LIFT Community Grants

LIFT Community Grants is a grant scheme funded by the European Social Fund and will invest in attractive and accessible employability support projects in the form of structured learning in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Funded projects will support people to engage with the learning offered and enable people to progress onwards into employment where there are current skills gaps or into more formal learning and skills provision to acquire those skills.

LIFT Community Grants is aimed at smaller voluntary community and social enterprise organisations based in either Norfolk or Suffolk who are working at a community level with those who are furthest from the jobs market because they are:

  • Long-term unemployed
  • 16-25 and not in education, employment or training (NEET)
  • Facing other barriers to work but can move into employment or self-employment with the right support
  • Disadvantaged when it comes to finding work
  • In need of support to become confident and ready for employment and/or formal learning and skills provision

We are particularly (but not exclusively) interested in projects that will benefit people who are:

  • Long-term unemployed
  • NEET young people aged 16+
  • Over 50
  • From an ethnic minority group
  • With a disability or health condition
  • Carers
  • Lone parents
  • Ex-offenders
  • Refugees or migrants
  • Resident in either the Norwich or Ipswich Opportunity Areas
  • Resident in districts where fewer projects have taken place, including North Norfolk

For examples of projects funded so far please contact the team

Funding available for projects

As a guideline LIFT Community Grants expects to offer funding of up to £20,000 per project, for up to 100% of project activity costs.

Projects must support those eligible to receive ESF funded support and who live in Norfolk or Suffolk.

Applicants can only submit one project application per funding round, however we welcome applications that have already run a successful project.

Please contact us for further details.

Applying for a LIFT Community Grant

The deadline for submission of an Expression of Interest is 31 August 2021, a further opportunity to apply for funding will be launched during the autumn.

The LIFT Community Grants programme is managed by the LIFT team at Norfolk County Council on behalf of both Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils.

If you would like to discuss your project idea, please contact us at

Please note: All participants who apply in the first round of funding must have started their learning activity by 30 November and funded projects must have finished and supplied all evidence and reports by 31 March 2022. A second round of funding will be launched in the autumn. Full details will follow, but projects must finish by 31 May 2022

Decision making

We have community based decision making. The final decision on grant applications will be made by the Norfolk and Suffolk LIFT Board made up of local reps from across the public, voluntary and private sector

Successful applicants will have demonstrated they will be able to:

  • Support people who are not in work to move closer to work
  • Identify, support and “activate” those not actively seeking work
  • Tackle complex barriers to work for those with particular needs
  • Offer an attractive and accessible structured learning project
  • Support people to engage with the learning and enable progression onwards into employment or more formal learning and skills provision
  • Create systems to retain evidence of project activity and outcomes (including progression) and the eligibility of participants to receive support

For an Expression of Interest Form and Guidance Pack please contact us at

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