NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund Launch

Since the Skills & Opportunities Fund launched in 2015, the RBS group has given away almost £5 million to a total of 236 not-for-profit organisations that help people in disadvantaged communities to develop, create or access the skills and opportunities to help themselves.

NatWest awarded 183 of these organisations funding, totalling almost £4m to help support projects in communities in England and Wales, while the remaining 53 organisations were awarded funding totalling over £970k by Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank, to help support projects in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland respectively.

This year, there will be a few changes to the fund.

The Fund is all about giving communities the opportunity to have their say on what matters to them locally. So, instead of having one overall £1.25 million group Fund per round, the pot is now divided to create three individual funds to allow us to focus on what’s important in our local communities. The NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund will be allocated £1m per round to award to projects in the NatWest community, covering England and Wales.

Some of the criteria used to award the money will also change. Not-for-profit organisations can still apply for up to £35k to support projects that help people in disadvantaged communities. However, the focus will now be specifically on projects that help people to start or develop a new business, now or in the future, as well as on projects that help people to become financially capable. Helping people to gain the skills they need to turn their lives around helps to build better communities for everyone; and when we build stronger communities, we all grow.

If you have a new or existing project in mind that could use a funding boost of up to £35k, then head to the NatWest Skills & Opportunities website for full details of how to apply. Don’t forget to check out the new entrance criteria.

Application deadline: Friday 24 February 2017, 12noon

Public vote: open from Friday 21 April to Friday 5 May 2017

Announcement of winners: Tuesday 6 June 2017

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