Grants of between £500 and £3,000 available to help NI education/training providers

 Open College Network NI (OCN NI) plans to award a share of £85K to education, voluntary and charitable training providers locally via their Centre Learning Grants Programme, now in its second year.

The Centre Learning Grants Programme, with a closing date for applications of Friday 12th May 2023, was created by the OCN NI Board of Trustees to help fulfil its charitable objectives.  Particular emphasis will be given to help those who may be particularly disadvantaged and would not otherwise have had opportunities to engage in education.

This is the first learner funding scheme of its kind in Northern Ireland created by an awarding organisation, explained Martin Flynn, CEO, OCN NI. 

“This is the second year of our Centre Learning Grants Programme and if last year is anything to go by, we are expecting another huge response from our very deserving centres. The grants programme provides a unique opportunity for education, voluntary and charitable training providers to apply for much needed additional funding that will help them to innovate and enhance their current offering to support disadvantaged learners locally. 

“We will be awarding grants of up to £3 000 for specific projects or activities that advance the mission and vision of OCN NI in a way that provides robust evidence of how learning positively impacts on individuals, families and communities.” 

Last year, grants were given to the North West Play Resource Centre which received £3 000, the Clanrye Group was awarded £2 945, People 1st secured a grant worth £2 200, Sacred Heart College received £1 000, Parenting NI received £1 695, Loughan EOTAS received a £2 700 grant and Fermanagh Women’s Aid was awarded a Centre Learning Grant of £3 000. 

Paul Donaghy Chair of OCN NI, said: “OCN NI is once again delighted to be in a position to ‘give back’ to learners and training providers through the extension of our Centre Learning Grants Programme.  Over the last 12 months OCN NI has consolidated it’s position as the leading awarding body in Northern Ireland so being able to fund and deliver this programme for another year is a key element of charitable function, which aims to ensure the advancement of education for public benefit.

“We have already seen the positive impact from last year’s programme to help engage, enrich and equip learners for life, so I would encourage centres to apply as soon as possible for the 2023 programme. ”

To apply for funding from the Centre Learning Grants Programme visit closing date for applications is Friday 12th May 2023Click here to hear from Martin Flynn as he launches the OCN Centre Learning Grants.