Kingston Council awarded £338,000 Government funding to provide English language courses

Kingston Council is set to benefit from £338,000 of Government funds to support vulnerable refugees and migrants to learn English and engage in integration activities.

The investment, sourced from the Government’s Controlling Migration Fund, will benefit Kingston’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Integration programme.

Kingston is one of just forty local authorities across the country to receive the funding, which is set to create more independant communities and ease pressure on local services, including health and housing.

Those receiving the grants have all developed specific plans to ease local pressures arising from migration, and at the same time, deliver overall benefits to the wider community.

Kingston Council submitted the bid with local partners Kingston College, Independent Yemen Group, Learn English at Home and Refugee Action Kingston, who jointly form the borough’s ESOL and Communication Group. The group was set up in 2010 to work in a more strategic and coordinated way across the borough. The closer working of the different organisations means that learning and integration outcomes are widely improved.

The grants are the second allocations from the £100 million Controlling Migration Fund (CMF), following an initial allocation of £15 million awarded earlier this year. Kingston’s £338,529 funding will be split over two financial years, with the borough benefiting from £184,305 in 2017/18 and £154,224 in 2018/19.

The Leader of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Kevin Davis said:

“We welcome the funding from the Government for our ESOL and Integration Programme that will make a real difference to the lives of these vulnerable groups of people in the borough. We have a strong partnership with local education providers, the voluntary sector and other community groups that will make this programme a real success. The grant will go a long way to provide a service that will give these individuals lifelong skills whilst delivering wider integration benefits for the community.”

Communities Minister Lord Bourne said:

“New arrivals can be a great asset to Britain - boosting the local workforce and economy. But in some places population change in a short space of time has put pressure on local services. We’re clear there are things we can do to address these problems.

“This new funding will help councils rise to the challenge of reducing the impact of migration on local communities in a variety of ways – whether that’s tackling the small minority of landlords who damage neighbourhoods with overcrowded properties, providing English language classes to ensure effective integration.”

Many of the projects supported will deliver English language lessons to allow new residents to contribute to and feel part of their communities. They will also include education around British values and social norms, breaking down cultural barriers.”

Boston Council in Lincolnshire will receive over £1 million to fund a wide range of integration projects, including additional sport and gym facilities where there is pressure on services, community sport sessions and encouraging volunteering from all communities.

Notes to editors

The funding received by Kingston will be allocated to Kingston College, Kingston Adult Education, Independent Yemen Group, Learn English at Home and Refugee Action Kingston.

The funding will supplement local authorities’ budgets of £200 billion across the four year period up to 2020.

The Controlling Migration Fund is designed to support local areas facing pressures linked to recent immigration. See further details in the Controlling Migration Fund allocations table.

This funding will supplement local authorities’ budgets of £200 billion across the 4 year period up to 2020.

The Fund is available over the 4 years from 2016-17 to 2019-20, and is in 2 parts:

  • ‘local service impacts’ totalling £100 million, led by the Department for Communities and Local Government, to help local authorities in England and their communities experiencing high and unexpected volumes of immigration to ease pressures on local services.
  • enforcement, led by Immigration Enforcement, worth £40 million to direct enforcement action to reduce the impact of migration on local communities; Immigration Enforcement are on track to meet their commitments under the Fund, including through supporting Rochdale’s Operation Maverick.
  • the government has been reviewing the available evidence on the main causes of poor integration; in the coming months we will bring forward plans for tackling these issues through a new integration strategy, to help people in more isolated communities, including migrants, to integrate into UK society.