General News

HL: 22 communities will be awarded grants totalling £3.6m to help ensure that no-one spends a second night on the street. Over 2,000 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night in England. The funding follows the launch of StreetLink, a new England-wide hotline & website which enables concerned members of the public to help connect a rough sleeper with local advice and services.
 
Since the launch on 11 December 2012 StreetLink has been contacted over 4,000 times by the public (far exceeding initial expectations) showing the public’s willingness & desire to help. This new grant will help charities across the country to deliver the StreetLink promise to provide the first step towards connecting rough sleepers with the support available to them.
Press release & links ~ WAG: Houses into Homes helps local developer sell cells
 
DCMS: Ed Vaizey has launched a nationwide contest for those interested in submitting bids to be UK City of Culture 2017.  The competition, which comes in the same week that Derry-Londonderry officially kicks off  its year as the first ever UK City of Culture, is designed to use culture & creativity as a catalyst to transform communities, as well as showcasing artistic talent.
 
Those interested in submitting bids to be UK City of Culture 2017 are invited to register with DCMS by the end of February 2013.  Bids for the 2017 competition must be received by the end of April 2013, after which they will be assessed by an Independent Advisory Panel with the aim of announcing a shortlist in June.  It’s hoped the announcement of who has won will be made in Derry-Londonderry in November 2013.
Press release & links
 
LSIS: A new scheme to support fee subsidy for English & maths FE trainee teachers for the 2012/13 academic year has been launched. Up to £500 is available for up to 3,000 trainees under the new basic English & maths FE Teacher Training Awards scheme, which is being administered by the Learning & Skills Improvement Service

This scheme runs in parallel with the existing ITT fee awards scheme, and trainees may only apply for one award.  Details of eligibility & guidance on how to apply are available via the Excellence Gateway.
Press release & links
 
ACEArts Council England has released details of the projects continuing to the second stage of the application process for their large capital grants programme.  They have also announced what has been funded in the first round of their small capital grants programme.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: The existing number for NHS 24 will be replaced by 111 in April 2014, meaning people in Scotland will no longer be charged when calling the advice service from a landline or mobile. The current cost to call NHS 24 from a BT landline is the price of a local phone call, with calls from other landline service providers & mobile providers often costing more.
Press release & links
 
DefraContinued funding has secured the future of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) Environment Minister Richard Benyon confirmed last week. The NWCU is at the forefront of the UK’s fight against the growing illegal wildlife trade. Through effective intelligence-led enforcement, it targets key criminals engaged in serious and organised crime.
Press release ~ NWCU
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