From Northfield Town Centre Partnership:

Image by Howard Lake on Flickr

Northfield Town centre partnership has secured funding of £64,140 from the Skills Funding Agency as part of the new Community Learning Innovation Fund, to develop a thriving Community Time bank, working with local partners including Northfield Eco Centre and Bromford Housing Association.

The Community Learning Innovation Fund, from the Skills Funding Agency and managed by NIACE, will contribute to the Government’s objectives for community learning. The Fund will deliver new and creative learning opportunities, particularly for disadvantaged people to support social and economic well-being, digital inclusion and stronger families and communities.

‘Time to Learn’ will evolve two way volunteering skill exchanges.

Everyone’s skills will be treated equally and one hour earned volunteering will be able to drawn back through the time bank to learn new skills, receive discounts to leisure services or get involved in free hobby days community events and environmental projects.

The learning that takes place promotes social renewal and strengthens communities by raising their sense of possibility and aspiration for individuals and groups to get involved in and improve their communities through active citizenship, community participation and or volunteering.

Rebecca Debenham Operations Manager for Northfield Town Centre partnership said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding, in partnership with other local groups we will be able to deliver a host of projects and opportunities to increase peoples learning and development, leading to new skills and increased opportunities for skills”.

Verity Hancock, Skills Funding Agency Executive Director, Capacity and Infrastructure, said: “The response to the new Community Learning Innovation Fund has been phenomenal and the Skills Funding Agency is pleased to be able to support these innovative projects that meet the needs of local people.  By making it easier for disadvantaged people to learn new skills and access training and support, they gain new opportunities to improve their lives, building stronger families and communities in the process.”

Carol Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive of NIACE, added: “NIACE is proud to have the role of supporting the Skills Funding Agency in managing the Community Learning Innovation Fund. The response has been staggering – we received over 2200 bids. Deciding which of the projects should receive funding has been incredibly tough, however this means that the very best projects will be starting work soon and transforming the lives of local people and local communities.”

To find out more about the learning opportunities available, call in at the Northfield Town Centre Partnership shop in Bristol Road, Northfield (opposite shopping centre), call 0121 411 2157 or email


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