Lisburn Chamber supports Voice For Locals initiative
‘Voice for Locals’ is a Levelling-Up or Prosperity Initiative sponsored by the UK Community Renewal Fund (UKCRF) focusing on investment in skills and local business. The UKCRF is funded by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and will be administered across all regions in the UK. In Northern Ireland, this initiative will be delivered by a consortium of three UK companies: Unloc Ltd, TieTa & City & Guilds. Unloc Ltd brings in the technology, marketing & skills development, TieTa offers business & technical support whilst City & Guilds offers vocational qualifications and certification for the local business.
‘Voice for Locals’ won the fifth largest grant in the whole of the UK and the largest in Northern Ireland with its mission to level up performance of NI’s micro and small business economy. The Government has set aside a fund of £13m to deliver the programme in NI. Participation in the scheme is completely free for local businesses. Voice for Locals is unique to the marketplace and does not directly compete with any other NI UKCRF funded initiatives. To ensure both delivery and success of the Voice for Locals initiative, the input, advice, co-operation & collaboration of local councils in Northern Ireland is critical. Consequently, our marketing efforts would dovetail with the Councils’ promotional and development ambitions. There would also be a knowledge transfer at the conclusion of the project which would be shared with Councils, local and national government about micro and small businesses.
What the initiative is and what is involved?
- This is a Central Government funded pilot programme, targeted at circa 4,000 micro businesses within the retail and service sectors in Northern Ireland, across all 11 Council areas
- This is aimed at micro businesses transacting online and also via bricks and mortar
- This is aimed at micro businesses including sole traders and those employing between 1 and 9 persons.
- The fund is the UK Community Renewal Fund and confirmation of the funds for “Voice for Locals” is available at the following link under successful bids https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-successful-bids
- Similar programmes have been previously run in India, Malaysia and Singapore (I assume by Jay and his partners)
- This pilot programme fits with the Shop Local ethos and empowers small traders to engage in intelligent marketing and customer experience development without the outlay of marketing costs