Funding for training in Wales

This section of the Training Toolkit outlines the funding landscape for accredited training – and looks at funding opportunities which can support community radio stations to carry out both accredited and non-accredited courses and programmes. This page relates to Wales; see equivalent info for EnglandScotland, and Northern Ireland.


Funding opportunities for Radio training: introduction

This resource has been put together with the acknowledgement that we are currently working in difficult and challenging times, where cuts to funding are affecting the voluntary and community sector’s ability to deliver services to our communities. Furthermore, government funding for skills and learning is undergoing development, and changes are being made on an on-going basis.

In 2013, the Welsh Government announced a one-year extension to its community radio fund, following a review. All 12 licensed community radio stations in Wales were eligible to apply for a share of the £100,000 fund. Nine stations were each awarded grants of between roughly £9000 and £12000. The Welsh Government’s original grant scheme, which recently ended, provided grants totalling £500,000 over a five-year period.

One option in the current landscape is to collaborate with registered training providers – who may have a greater understanding of which courses currently attract government support – and to deliver training in partnership. This option would save on the cost of centre registration, which is often needed to be an independent delivery organisation for many of the recognised training courses.

There are charitable trusts and funding organisations to which community groups can apply for funding. It is important to keep up to date with the changes as new funding can become available and you will also need to check that you fit the criteria to apply. In the current funding landscape, competition is high, and a strong innovative bid and measurable project ideas are a must. Think about what you can offer, what outcomes you are meeting by using radio? Funding is often specific to groups – for example it could be linked to reducing the number of NEET young people, or helping ex-offenders get into employment.


Table 1: Types of training and funding

Type of training Type of funding
Accredited course Welsh government, via learning provider
Non-accredited course Learner / organisation pays (?)
In-house training n/a
Grant-funded project social funder (e.g. Esmée Fairbairn, etc)
Service delivery local authority (e.g. council), service provider (e.g. NHS), government


Three models of funding training

There are three main models for accessing funding for training:

  • Delivering accredited courses
  • Grant funding / funding an outcome
  • Government-funded contracts

These may overlap to an extent – they are not mutually exclusive – but below is more detail on each of these models.


Funding for delivering accredited courses

Accredited courses are funded through the Welsh government and paid to the learning provider. You can see a variety of qualifications you could deliver on the Qualifications in Wales page. It may be that you would deliver such qualifications in partnership – see the page on Training and Partnerships for more info.


Funding an outcome / grant funding

An inherent part of your mission as a community radio station is to deliver social gain. You are a community-minded organisation making a difference in the world – you are an agent of social change.

Funders want to make a difference in the world – and, each according to their focus and mission, they want to fund particular social outcomes. So, in doing the sort of work that you do (or in designing the kinds of projects you want to do), you need to identify what is the social outcome that you are helping to achieve. This is your selling point as an organisation – this is your pitch to the funding body – whether it is in the form of a grant, or a service which is being commissioned or contracted. It is worth identifying what funders will be most likely to fund a particular type of project, and to approach these funders with specific proposals – rather than either a ‘scattergun’ approach (i.e. sending funding applications to every funder), or a ‘copy and paste’ approach (i.e. re-using the same proposal for multiple funders).


Funder About the funding
Arts Council Individuals and VCS organisations can apply. Projects must be arts related lasting up to three years. Grants available are between £1,000 and £100,000. There is no deadline and you can apply at any time.
Awards For All Not for profit organisations and groups can apply. Funding is for specific projects or activities, which can include training and development activities for staff and volunteers. The grants available are between £300 and £10,000. You are able to apply any time but you must submit three months before project starts. Applications are usually decided within 30 days.
Esmee Fairbairn Esmée Fairbairn funds focuses on education and cultural sectors. Voluntary and Community Sector organisations can apply. Projects should focus on education and enable people who are disadvantaged to participate more fully in society.
Paul Hamlyn Foundation Is open to charitable and not-for-profit organisations. Funds innovative projects looking at change in areas such as tackling school exclusion and truancy, pilot activity, knowledge exchange and development/transfer of best practice. Applications can be made at any time.
Henry Smith Charity Open to community organisations that deliver projects which provide support to young people at risk, particularly those living in areas of deprivation. There are two funds the Main Grants which will fund projects over £10,000 and a Small Grants fund which will support projects less than £10,000 Trustees meet quarterly in March, June, September and December.
Youth in Action For Organisations working with young people (15 – 25 years).Funding is for programmes which promote informal and non-formal learning and exchanges of young people between the UK and other countries; also specific support for youth workers to develop skills through the Support Measures Programme (job shadowing, study visits, training courses, networking)
Children in Need Provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged.
Tudor Trust Fund a wide range of projects which seek to effect lasting change in their communities. They focus on smaller groups led by people of vision.
Unltd Funding for Social Entrepreneurs creating change in their communities.


There are also opportunities for funding via the European social fund as well as other EU programmes such as Grundtvig, and Interreg.

There is also funding to undertake training, through the BBC and Creative Skillset Funding for Radio and Audio Training programme, which consists of bursaries for individuals working on a freelance basis in the UK radio and audio industry to spend on short courses or other short term training and development solutions as part of their continuing professional development (CPD). Funding can be applied for up to 80% of the combined fees, travel and accommodation costs of your training to a maximum of £800 inclusive of VAT. See info from Creative Skillset.


Welsh Government funding

The Welsh Government has overall responsibility for education and skills in Wales and recognises that appropriate training has a direct impact on Wales’ economic performance. From an adult perspective, there is a particular focus on alleviating poverty by providing support and access to a full range of learning and employment opportunities.  Access to high-quality training is seen as a way to ensure that everyone gains the right skills in order to increase sustainable employment and business growth.  Improving further and higher education is therefore a key action the Welsh Government’s programme. Learning providers include any organization or individual that is involved in the provision of education and the associated services. This includes, education institutions and Local Authorities, but also special interest groups such as potentially, community radio stations.

The Welsh government also has a programme of work based learning for the delivery of an apprenticeships programme, and training programmes for unemployed young people and adults, which runs currently from August 2011 to March 2015.


Digital Inclusion

Digital literacy is also a key priority, particularly as switchover of public services to on-line delivery is starting to be rolled out.  There are many benefits to using digital technology and those that do not have access to it, through lack of skills or lack of facilities, are ‘digitally excluded’. According to the Welsh Government’s first full national survey for Wales in 2012/13, 24% (approximately 571,000) of the Welsh adult population (aged 18 or over) currently do not regularly use the internet. Digital inclusion, according to the Welsh Government, is “an agenda about people and improving their lives, being able to communicate more easily; getting goods more easily and for lower prices and about being able to access public services more easily. Digital inclusion is also about reducing social isolation. It is about people being able to benefit, both as citizens and consumers.”

The available evidence suggests that people who are most likely to be digitally excluded are “more likely to be older people; those who live in social housing; those who are unemployed; and disabled people.”

Community Radio is well place to make a significant contribution to the promotion and development of adult media literacy.  The opportunities provided for volunteering and working within a station can provide an informal low pressure learning environment which could help to develop the confidence for those people who have never used the Internet or on-line services before.

The stations in Wales are generally based in areas of significant economic and social deprivation.  According to the Welsh Government’s survey, 36% of households in the 10% most deprived areas in Wales did not have access to the internet. In comparison, 24% of households in the 50% least deprived areas did not have internet access. UK-wide surveys have reported slightly higher results for the UK compared to the Wales average found in the Welsh Government’s Survey. A survey conducted by Ofcom in 2013 estimated that 80% of UK households have internet access, and the 2013 ONS Omnibus Survey found that 83% of UK households have internet access.

Digital exclusion is also linked to age. In terms of individuals (as opposed to households), around 90% of people aged 18-24 and 25-44 have household internet access, whereas only 31% of people aged 75 and over have household internet access.  Around three quarters of households in private rented accommodation (75%), and a similar proportion of owner occupier households (76%), accessed the internet, compared with just over half of those in social housing (54%).


Communities 2.0:

Communities 2.0 is a Welsh Government funded project (based on European Convergence Funding) which aims to help communities and small enterprises make the most of the internet.  The project addresses the barriers to using technology by inspiring people, building confidence and by creating opportunities.

The programme which is delivered by four partner organisations, the Wales Co-operative Centre, Pembrokeshire Association of  Voluntary Services, Carmarthenshire County Council and the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of South Wales. Much of the funding for Communities 2.0 has come from the European Regional Development Fund.  The initiative aims to work first in the Convergence area of Wales, breaking down barriers to engagement with technologies. It will support new and existing enterprises to use ICT to improve performance, through training, mentoring, technical support, ICT related business support, research and best practice.


Contracts Finder

All national government-funded tenders, contracts and funding agreements over £10,000 (including funding which is connected to education and vocational training) are available to view via Contracts Finder This service allows people to search for government-funded opportunities in one place. Organisations can sign up to receive email alerts.

The funds listed in this table are available nationally – there are other funds available to organisations located in particular regions or localities, which should be looked into as they will provide access to local funding streams.

It is advisable to make contact with the funder to talk through your ideas and check your eligibility against the criteria, confirming maximum amounts of funding available, groups they prioritise and priority areas for funding in advance of putting together your application. A lot of the funders also list previous applications which have been successful which can give you an idea if your project is something which they may support.

There are lots of websites which provide free information about what current funding is available. Some links include:

  • Funding Central is a free website for VCS organisations that provides access to funding and finance opportunities, plus a wealth of tools and resources. The website is operated by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Grantnet is a free grants database available to small community organisations once they have registered on the website.
  • Grantfinder is a national grants and policy database and includes details in excess of 8,000 funding opportunities.
  • Grants4 portal is an online information service that provides information on funding opportunities that are available in your local area (please note that not all local authorities have taken up the service