Hertfordshire County Council funding bid success 'Bringing Communities Together'

Published: 15 Nov 2017

Set to receive a further £516k to help alleviate pressures on local services resulting from recent migration.

Hertfordshire County Council have successfully bid for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Migration Fund, making it one of the lucky recipient councils across England to receive a portion of the £18 million fund.

The Controlling Migration Fund is designed to support local areas facing pressures linked to recent immigration, and councils receiving these grants have developed specific plans to ease local pressures arising from migration and provide overall benefits to their wider communities.

The two-year project, being delivered with a variety of partners, will provide English language lessons to residents in Stevenage, Hertsmere, Welwyn Hatfield and Watford boroughs, who have arrived in the UK within the last five years.  Supported by the Hertfordshire Skills Strategy, which has a commitment to raise the level of literacy of Hertfordshire’s adult population, they will also include education around British values and social norms, breaking down cultural barriers.

Executive Member for Adult Care and Health, Colette Wyatt-Lowe said: “We’re extremely pleased that HAFLS and our partners have been successful in securing funding from the DCLG Migration Fund to provide and deliver the ‘Bringing Communities Together’ project through ESOL learning.

“This project will not only provide migrants with crucial basic education, embedded with British values to improve their future prospects, but it will also strengthen community cohesion and create a county where everyone feels valued and included.

“We aim to be known as the county of opportunity and this project further demonstrates our commitment to this.”

Learning English is considered of primary importance to aiding migrant integration into British society and it is expected the project will reduce the number of requests to translation services, with an estimated 75% of learners in employment after completion of their course.

Communities Minister Lord Bourne said: “In some places population change in a short space of time has put pressure on local services and we’re clear there are things we can do to address these problems.

“It’s great to see so many projects tackling the problems of poor integration in their communities by, for example, allowing migrants to access the benefits of good English. This will create stronger relationships between neighbours and unlock better services for all.”