Westfield London is launching a new community grants initiative as part of its expansion plans for the centre. The community grants scheme will support local organisations, who are looking for funding of up to £1,000 with up to 20 projects being selected per year over the next two years.
The community grants scheme is designed to focus specifically on a diverse array of projects and individuals from our borough, and aims to make a significant difference within our local neighbourhoods.
A new community grants panel, led by representatives from local businesses, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, local organisations and Westfield London, will meet twice annually to decide where funds will be directed based on bids received.
At each round of funding the panel will judge bids based on applications on three separate themes: Innovative and creative approaches to employment and training; Opportunities for young people aged16-24 and support for people with disabilities or health problems. In addition to fitting in with at least one of these themes, successful applicants will be required to show that they are based locally in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham or the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and they will have to submit a detailed breakdown of how the money will be spent and what objectives the funding will help them to achieve.
Westfield London currently provides 12,000 jobs, both as a direct employer and by attracting world-class retail employers. The proposed retail and residential expansion will create a further 8,000 jobs.
Since opening in 2008 Westfield has taken a proactive approach to engaging with the local community. The Westfield London Jobs & Training Advisory Panel was set up in 2012 in order to support employment and training at Westfield London and its surrounding communities. Since 2012, the wider White City Opportunity Area has developed further with even more jobs in the pipeline for local people in the area. As part of the new plans, the Work Zone will receive a further £600,000 worth of funding. The Work Zone, which is based on site at Westfield London in the Shepherd’s Bush Library, was set up to assist retailers and contractors to recruit locally, and to alert residents and jobseekers to available jobs and to assist jobseekers to gain access to the right employment and skills training for jobs at the shopping centre.
Commenting on the launch of the panel, Duncan Bower, Director of Development at Westfield, said: “Westfield London has had a transformative impact on the W12 area, delivering 12,000 jobs and £2.3 bn of investment to this part of London since opening in 2008. As we embark upon the next phase in this success story we want to make sure that the success of this investment is felt as widely as possible in the White City area. Westfield has a good track record in working with local organisations and the establishment of the grants panel will build on this.”
Jon Gilchrist, Executive Director of the Bush Theatre and one of the panellists, commented: “The Bush Theatre has been making new theatre in Shepherd’s Bush for 44 years – and we are incredibly proud to be part of this vibrant and diverse corner of London. As someone who both lives and works in W12, it’s a privilege to form part of this panel – ensuring that the changing landscape in the area has a lasting benefit to the residents of the area. I hope that the Westfield community grants panel can work to harness the innovation and ideas that we encounter on our streets every day.”
Panellist Steven Cotton, Employer Engagement Manager for Resurgo’s Spear programme, said: “We are so pleased to continue our work with Westfield and in White City through the grants panel. From our experience, we know that there is a huge amount of innate local talent. Supporting projects that serve local need will bring tangible benefits to the local area.”
Panellist Emma Morgan, Manager at Big Local, said: “At Big Local we are dedicated to supporting the development of local people’s skills and talent and I believe that Westfield’s community grants panel will play an important part in encouraging this and investing in our vibrant and diverse local community. As part of the grants panel we look forward to working with a range of local organisations as they submit bids for funding”.
For more information on the community grants scheme please visit Westfield London’s website: http://westfieldlondon-plans.co.uk/community-grants/.
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