Bid now for Cirrus and CarelineUK’s LEGO stadium

Cirrus and CarelineUK were delighted to exhibit at the Consortium Procurement Village at the recent Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) event on 24-26 June at Manchester Central. Those who were able to visit us may have seen this LEGO stadium displayed on our stand.

The LEGO stadium

The LEGO stadium


In support of our charity partner the Fire Fighters’ Charity – the UK’s leading provider of services that enhance quality of life for serving and retired fire fighters, fire personnel, and their families – we are looking to hold a silent auction of the stadium.

How do I take part?

To take part in the silent auction, you will need to submit your bid to, clearly detailing the bid amount, your name and a contact telephone number. The highest successful bidder will then be contacted within a week of the closing date.

Please remember that this is for charity and that the stadium is worth over £150!

Terms and conditions apply and are available on request. Contact for further information.

The Big Lottery Fund opens doors to european funding for voluntary sector

Big_Lottery_Fund_logoThe Big Lottery Fund will be making £630,000 available in programme development funding for voluntary organisations across England to raise awareness of the funding opportunities available through the European Social Fund (ESF).

Over the next few years, the Fund expects to put up to £260 million of National Lottery funding which will leverage a similar figure from Europe, subject to sign off from the EU Commission later this year. This element of the ESF is designed to tackle poverty and promote social inclusion. It comes from a new seven year cycle of European funding – the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) Growth programme.

Historically voluntary organisations have often found it difficult to access European funding. The Lottery-funded £630,000 programme development fund, announced today, will be available to one lead voluntary organisation in each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area. The role of the lead organisation is to ensure there is widespread awareness of the opportunities available through the ESF, to act as a main contact for queries and to bring the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector together to discuss local need already identified by LEPs and how best to tackle these priorities.

The amount of programme development funding allocated to each LEP area ranges from £10,000 to £50,000. The application window for the development funding is open from today and the deadline for applications is 2pm, Thursday 4 September 2014.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive Officer of the Big Lottery Fund said: “This development funding will help to prepare potential applicants for the main ESF funding opportunity which will open in 2015. By matching and delivering the ESF, the Big Lottery Fund is giving the VCSE sector as easy access as possible to the money by using our expertise from the last ten years of supporting communities and people most in need.

“With 36 LEP areas looking to work with us, the main funding could support a wide range of projects from improving employability for the most disadvantaged, helping those with multiple and complex needs, or improving financial literacy, helping them to overcome challenges in their lives.”

Further information about who can apply and what we are looking for can be found on the Big Lottery Fund website:

Work in the North East? Help make the case for house building

The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) is working with Watson Burton LLP on a project to make the case for greater levels of housing development in the North East. The Northern Housing Consortium is supporting this work by taking part in the task group overseeing the project. For our sector, it is a great opportunity to work with the wider business community to make the case for housing.

NECC have launched a survey to canvas the views of those with interests in the sector. If you work in the North East, please complete the survey by following this link. The survey should take no more than ten minutes to complete and will provide the NECC with valuable insights to inform the project.

The survey activity will be complemented with in-depth interviews and research with key stakeholders, and aims to:

  • Build the case for greater levels of housing development in the North East;
  • Demonstrate how this links to wider business and economic benefits; and
  • Influence policy decisions in favour of greater housebuilding.

A report showcasing the NECC’s findings and recommendations will be published late this year.

You can access a project brief which explains more about the project here. The work covers the whole North East region (both the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas). If you have any questions or would like further information, Rachel Travis, Policy Advisor at NECC would be happy to assist. You can contact her on 07850 740 646, 0300 303 6322, or

Growth Deals: NHC member briefing published

On Monday 7th July 2014 the Government announced the first Local Growth Deals between itself and the 39 English Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), including the 11 northern LEPs. This round of Growth Deals distributed funds from the first £2bn single Local Growth Fund for 2015/16 and also made a number of longer-term commitments.

The total of the headline figures attributed to the 11 Northern Growth Deals is £2.573bn. This includes 2015/16 commitments, new funding for 2016-21, and indicative/provisional funds for 2016 onwards. Of this £2.573bn:

  • £358.5m (13.9%) is new funding for 2015/16, announced through the Growth Deals
  • £892.2m (34.7%) is new funding for 2016-21
  • A further £453.3m (17.6%) is indicative or provisional funding for 2016 onwards
  • £870.9m (33.8%) is funding which has been previously announced

Outputs delivered by the Growth Deals have been expressed in terms of jobs and homes. Across the North, these Growth Deals are predicted to provide at least 61,000 jobs and 30,900 homes by 2021.

This briefing for Northern Housing Consortium members answers your questions on the Local Growth Fund and Local Growth Deals, takes a look at the overall picture for the North and summarises each of the 11 Northern deals, focussing on the housing impacts of each one.