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£5 million fund aims to tackle region's social and economic disadvantage

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Building Better Opportunities will work for disadvantaged people and hard to reach communities in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, North West Essex, North Hertfordshire and Rutland.

The £5 million fund is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.

Despite the having generally high employment, people in some of our more deprived communities face intergenerational poverty and worklessness.

Reportedly, more than 16,000 children in the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP) area grow up in poverty, with over 11,000 in Peterborough alone.

In Cambridgeshire, more than 75 per cent of these children are in workless households compared with 42 per cet nationally.

Michael Barnes, Head of European Programmes at the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “We are delighted to be working with the Building Better Opportunities programme.

“We know that the GCGP area has significant pockets of deprivation and we are confident that, working together, these projects can make a genuine difference to people within those communities who are struggling to prepare for, find or sustain employment.”

Four projects have received funding via Building Better Opportunities for three years that will support over 1,500 people locally:

Community Connections South, led by Papworth Trust, covers the south of the area, particularly Huntingdon, Cambridge, Ely, St Neots, St Ives, Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds.

New Horizons, led by CHS Group, will focus on financial inclusion with hubs in King’s Lynn, Wisbech, Cambridge and Peterborough and mobile outreach for disadvantaged groups outside those areas.

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