£29 million for UK Know Your Neighbourhood Fund confirmed

The UK government has confirmed the launch of the Know Your Neighbourhood (KYN) Fund, a £29 million package of funding designed to widen participation in volunteering and tackle loneliness in 27 disadvantaged areas across England.

Of this £29 million, £19 million of government investment will support people living in disadvantaged areas to connect with others in their community and engage in volunteering, with the aim of improving wellbeing and pride in place. The National Lottery Community Fund is also investing up to £10 million to support their existing projects working across the same target areas.

Following a competitive process, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is pleased to confirm that £14 million of the total £19 million government funding will be delivered by UK Community Foundations (UKCF) and a consortium of local community foundations across 9 local authority areas. These are: Wolverhampton, South Tyneside, Kingston-upon-Hull, Blackpool, Stoke-on-Trent, Great Yarmouth, Fenland, County Durham and Barrow-in-Furness. This funding will be targeted at people who have not had opportunities to volunteer before, or who are experiencing loneliness. They will be supported to access enriching opportunities that will help to improve their wellbeing, skills, confidence and social connections.

DCMS sectors offer opportunities for people to participate in volunteering and connect with others in their areas. The remaining £5 million of government funding will therefore be invested in supporting people to participate in volunteering and connect with others through expanding the existing offer of arts, culture and heritage activities across the 27 KYN target areas. This funding will be delivered by Arts Council England (ACE) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), in partnership with Historic England.

The KYN Fund will run until March 2025. A key focus of the programme will be to generate and share learning on how people in disadvantaged areas can be supported to volunteer and improve their social connections, which will help to support sustained action beyond the lifetime of the fund.

The objectives of the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund are, by March 2025:

  • To increase the proportion of people in targeted high-deprivation local authorities who volunteer at least once a month.
  • To reduce the proportion of chronically lonely people in targeted high-deprivation local authorities who lack desired level of social connections.
  • To build the evidence to identify scalable and sustainable place-based interventions that work in increasing regular volunteering and reducing chronic loneliness.
  • To enable targeted high-deprivation local authorities, and the local voluntary and community sector in these places, to implement sustainable systems and processes that encourage volunteering and tackling loneliness.

We will announce further details of organisations awarded onward grants through the KYN Fund later this year.

Selected places and methodology

We recognise that a fund of this size would not be able to reach every area in need of support. We therefore decided to take a targeted approach, identifying the areas most in need.

We identified the below 27 target areas using data on:

  • People and local economy factors (e.g. household incomes, local labour markets, economic and multidimensional deprivation); and
  • Strength of civil society and community factors (e.g. depth and breadth of local VCSE activity and funding, level of volunteering and community participation).

To identify high-need areas based on people and local economy factors we have used the 2019 English Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). To identify high-need areas based on the strength of civil society and community factors we have used the Community Needs Index (CNI).

We have ensured that the list of eligible areas represents a balance of both rural and urban areas.

Eligible areas

  • Barnsley
  • Barrow-in-Furness
  • Blackpool
  • Bolsover
  • Burnley
  • Cannock Chase
  • County Durham
  • Doncaster
  • Fenland
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Halton
  • Hartlepool
  • King’s Lynn and West Norfolk
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Knowsley
  • Middlesbrough
  • Rochdale
  • Sandwell
  • South Tyneside
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Sunderland
  • Tameside
  • Tendring
  • Thanet
  • Torridge
  • Wakefield
  • Wolverhampton

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