Brokenshire announces £7m fund to build integrated communities

A new £7 million fund to support ‘trailblazing’ approaches to building more integrated communities in England was launched yesterday (July 9) by Secretary of State for Communities James Brokenshire.

The Integrated Communities Innovation Fund will help tackle the key causes of poor integration set out in the Government’s Integrated Communities Strategy green paper which was launched in March 2018.

The fund will complement the Government’s local integration plans which has already been set up in Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Peterborough, Walsall and Waltham Forest.

Speaking after the session, Secretary of State for Communities Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

‘Britain is on the whole a well integrated society, but we have been clear that we need to tackle the persistent challenges of integration in some communities across the country.

The trailblazing projects supported by the fund announced today will drive forward our work to bring all levels of society together, from business leaders to grassroots charities, to tackle the key causes of poor integration.’

The Government are hopeful that the fund will attract projects that use sport and physical activity to encourage integration. They will be working in partnership with Sport England, which is contributing to the new Integrated Communities Innovation Fund, to support projects of this type.

Jennie Price, CEO of Sport England, added:

‘I’m very pleased that Sport England is working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to achieve our shared objective of improving integration to strengthen communities.

We believe sport and physical activity is a powerful way of bringing together people from all backgrounds and strengthening the bonds between them.’

The Government has also announced a new Cohesion and Integration Network which will bring together organisations and individuals from across national and local government, business, and voluntary and community groups to share their ideas, knowledge and experience.

Professor Ted Cantle, a trustee of the new network, said:

‘The Cohesion and Integration Network announced today is a great opportunity to boost integration across the country, and ensure that proven ideas and projects can be easily shared replicated elsewhere and not re-invented or lost altogether.

We will be developing toolkits and guidance and making these resources accessible to everybody and as well as investing in skills and training to build the capacity of communities.’


Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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