Fundraising: London fund gave two thirds of its cash to sector

Georgina Lock

Nearly two-thirds of the money available from the London Development Agency's first Opportunities Fund has been awarded to voluntary groups, charities or social enterprises.

The fund was launched to support projects that increase opportunities for individuals and businesses in some of the capital's most deprived areas.

Nearly 60 of the 94 organisations chosen to share the £50m pot are voluntary organisations or social enterprises. They have been given £30m between them.

The fund will become an annual round of grants of one to three years' duration.

Applications opened in the autumn and were encouraged from community-based groups that can use their grass-roots knowledge, partners and enthusiasm to make the biggest impact in their area.

Manny Lewis, chief executive of the LDA, the Mayor's agency for business and jobs, said: "As well as helping us boost the urban environment, this fund will have a major impact on local economies and the lives of thousands of Londoners."

Charities that were awarded grants included Local Employment Access Projects in Kensal Wood, which received £1m.

Action Acton has received £640,000 to work with local schools and colleges to make the town's market a weekly occurrence and encourage entrepreneurship.

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