Education and Training network

This will be the network for you – if you are providing community learning, supporting skills development or delivering training.

In May 2015, at our POP Thursday we ran the inaugural meeting of the Education & Training Network, in partnership with Peninsula Community Learning Trust (PCLT).

The lead up to this being that in December 2014 Cassie Roberts (ODILS) invited  Plymouth Octopus Project (POP) to a meeting of the Peninsula Community Learning Trust (PCLT) to look at the idea of a ‘strategic training network’ for the City and ways to ensure that all community learning providers know about the opportunities opening up within the Local Enterprise (LEP), Lottery – Building Better Opportunities (BBO) funding.

PCLT includes Plymouth City Council (PCC) Adult Learning – that then soon left the local authority and became ‘On Course SW’, in partnership with Shekinah and YMCA. Others involved in PCLT are Keyham Community Partnership and KGP, Open Doors, NPLC and V-Learning.

Leading up to this first meeting POP convened a South West Forum (SWF) Event , as a briefing for local groups about the LEP/BBO funding. This event was held at Devonport Guildhall in March 2015. In April 2015 the SWF held a partnership development event for the youth strands of the LEP/BBO funding streams in Exeter. POP and several larger VCS organisations from Plymouth attended.

LEP allocations across the country (39) are announced – HoSW will be £5 248 800, to be matched with Lottery money £3 499, 200

During the summer of 2015 lots of background work takes place. Lead bodies share intention to lead bids and begin to sign up with partners, of which POP was one in several bids.

The selection at Stage 1 has been announced – with PLUSS being the lead body, partnering at strategic level with POP, Devon Community Foundation, Tomorrows People, Westward Pathfinder, COSMIC and Torbay Community Development Trust.

We are pleased to announce that several Plymouth based community groups and voluntary sector organisations are also included in the bid, which can be viewed here:

BBO Devon 2016 PLUSS (Here is a recent update from Heart of the South West’s June newsletter):

Building Better Opportunities in the Heart of the South West

“The LEP is delighted to be working with the applicants who have been successful in their stage 1 submissions to the Building Better Opportunities Fund. This fund is co-financed between the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, and all of the projects are aimed at supporting local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.The three applicants that will now be working on their stage 2 submissions for four different projects are PLUSS, CSW Group and Petroc. The applicants will now have time to develop their plans and engage with a wide range of partners. Project delivery is expected to start early in 2017.

More information about the Building Better Opportunities programme, including guidance notes, information on those invited through to stage 2 and FAQs etc. is available at

The LEP website has more information about the projects themselves and which organisations will be delivering them in different areas”.

The Future of EU Funding…..Update

Clearly the EU referendum decision has caused a great deal of uncertainty about the future of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth and other EU funding programmes. Will funding continue to be available while the UK remains in the EU? Will new projects be approved? What happens after the UK leaves?  Read more here

This page was updated on 18th August, 2016