Plymouth wins share of community cohesion fund

Four Plymouth neighbourhoods are set to benefit from funding to help with bringing their communities closer together.

The Council have secured just over £500,000 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to run a programme which aims to bring the city’s settled and migrant communities together in Devonport, Honicknowle, St Budeaux and Efford and Lipson.

Initiatives will include events and engagement that promotes togetherness and cooperation so that communities can come together to be stronger as one.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet member for Housing and Cooperative Development, said: “Bringing communities together for their mutual benefit is a complete no brainer and I’m delighted to have secured this funding from the government.

“Times are hard economically, we know that, so to be able to go out into communities to help improve outcomes is especially pleasing and I look forward to getting involved in the process myself.”

Plymouth has been an Asylum Dispersal Area since 2000 and is home to three Higher Education institutions who have attracted significant numbers of international students.

In common with most UK cities, Plymouth has also seen a significant influx of migrant workers and their families from the EU. At the same time, in the city’s settled community, reports show a rise in families experiencing in-work poverty or caught in cycles of low or no pay.

Research has shown that cohesion and cooperation rates between the two communities in the four selected neighbourhoods is below the city average so this programme will focus on encouraging conversations, while providing training and skills opportunities.

There will also be an employability programme in Devonport, Honicknowle and St Budeaux to improve access to education, skills and training and a city-wide programme engaging young people from different cultural backgrounds in a dialogue about values.