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Immigrants in Norfolk to count on a half-a-million pound grant

Breckland Council shortlisted for a £510,000 grant to help set up services for migrants 04 June 2009: Economic migrants coming into Norfolk from countries new to the European Union — namely Poland, and Lithuania – but also from Portugal can look forward to monetary aid, aimed at helping them settle in the area.

A half-a-million pound funding bid has been launched by a Norfolk council to help migrant communities in the region.

Available information suggests Breckland Council requires £510,000 to help set up services for migrants, as the district is destination for 30 per cent of all immigrants coming into Norfolk.

The development assumes significance as a research had found the area to be below average. In fact, an Ipsos Mori poll placed it as 13th worst, out of 387 areas, in the country, in terms of how people from different backgrounds got on.

However, recent work by the council has resulted in shortlisting for half-a-million pound grant by government agency Go-East.

A report to the local strategic partnership board says the cash would pay for a “citizen’s shop” in Thetford; a mobile bus, which would tour rural market towns; employers and schools training; besides skills for council staff, volunteers and communities.

The strategic partnership, an organisation made up of different tiers of local government, as well as health and policing bodies, would be responsible for the project, if it went ahead.

The cash would be split over two years, with £350,000 being pumped in the first year. A final decision from the department for communities of local government is expected in mid-to-late June.

Breckland was recently picked as the location for a pilot project, in view of “specialist cohesion team from central government working on migrant community issues”.

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