Funding for West Somerset to boost opportunities for children and young people

Somerset County Council has secured a share of £60 million of funding from government to help local children in West Somerset get the best start in life.

West Somerset is one of six areas in the country to have access to the funding to address the biggest challenges they face, including social mobility and educational achievement.

Known as ‘Opportunity Areas’ the funding will see local partnerships formed with early years providers, schools, colleges, universities, businesses, charities and local authorities.

The partnership will focus on giving children opportunities to reach their full potential. The area will be given prioritised access to a wider support package to help young people from nursery right through to starting work.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “It is pleasing to note that the challenges within West Somerset have been recognised and we look forward to working with the Department for Education and partners to improve opportunities for children, young people and their families.”

The overall aim of ‘Opportunity Areas’ is to build young people’s knowledge and skills and provide them with the best advice and opportunities, including working with organisations such as the Careers and Enterprise Company, the Confederation of British Industry, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the National Citizen Service.

The package also includes a teaching and leadership innovation fund worth £75 million over 3 years focused on supporting teachers and school leaders in challenging areas to develop.

More information can be found here: