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Challenge Innovation Fund

Issued: 29 Sep 2010

The Highland Council has agreed to operate a challenge fund to encourage third sector organisations to develop innovative approaches to assisting people with barriers to employment into training, work experience or jobs.

The funding is available until March 2011 and therefore only projects that can complete or are well underway before the end of March 2011 will be considered. Projects that would fit the criteria are those that:

* Provide short term work that adds value to existing projects;
* Pilot a new approach in a particular area or for a particular group;
* Undertake feasibility/ planning work for further development.

The budget available for the Fund will be £100,000 and project costs of up to £10,000 are anticipated, though good quality applications for higher amounts will be given full consideration.

Applications should be made with the Council's Grant Application Form, available through the Council's Website at www.highland.gov.uk/innovationchallengefund

Completed Applications should be returned by 27 October 2010 to:

The Highland Council Grant and Discretionary Funding Applications

The Chief Executive's Office Grant Applications,

Highland Council Headquarters,

Glenurquhart Road,

Inverness, IV3 5NX

Fax: 01463 702830

Return Applications to E-mail: policy6@highland.gov.uk

To qualify projects will need to:

* Demonstrate that they can be complete before or legally committed by the end of March 2011.
* Provide evidence of community engagement in identifying need and designing response;
* Provide clarity of purpose and targeting of services proposed to meet local labour market needs and impact on SOA Targets;
* Evidence the impact expected - numbers of beneficiaries, evidence of progression, training or employment outcomes;
* Evidence the impact on deprived communities and disadvantaged groups - making use of community assets, provides additional or improved facilities, amenity or service delivery;
* Evidence additionality - service provided adds value and does not substitute for, or displace services which otherwise are available;
* Demonstrate partnership working and engagement in design and delivery;
* Demonstrate value for money - includes commitments to ensuring efficiency, effectiveness and economy - can be benchmarked with comparable services;
* Demonstrate the organisation has the capacity to manage and deliver.
* End of project reporting, including financial reports will be required.

Assessment of applications will be carried out by officers of the Council and partner organisations prior to presentation to the Council's November Planning, Environment and Development Committee for decision.

For further information and enquiries only contact:

The Highland Council

Planning and Development Service

Employment Team

Glenurquhart Road



01463 702912


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Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme