Saltley project first in brum to be awarded near neighbours funding

Faithful Neighbourhoods Centre, Sparkhill Faithful Neighbourhoods Centre, Sparkhill Faithful Neighbourhoods Centre, Sparkhill

An inter-faith project in Saltley is the first project in the city to be awarded funds by a new Government grants programme which aims to strengthen communities by building bridges between people of different faiths and cultures.

The Hub in Saltley has received £5,000 pounds this week from the Near Neighbours programme. The award was given to help fund the start-up costs of the £1.5 million project to open a new interfaith centre in Saltley Methodist church.

The Near Neighbours cash will also fund four community days to give local residents a chance to get to grips with the plans and talk about their vision for the centre.

Residents will be invited to the BIG Game’, ‘the BIG Feast’, ‘The BIG show’ and ‘The BIG laugh’, each of which will give people of different faiths a chance to get involved.

Chair of the Hub Board, Methodist Minister Andrew Smith said: “We believe this centre will really make a big difference to Saltley. It will be one of the few places people can come together in a shared space and will set the scene so trusting relationships can be built and friendship deepened between people from different faith traditions.

“We are delighted that we have received a Near Neighbours grant to pay for necessary start-up costs and to help us begin to really engae with our local community.”

Near Neighbours development worker, Jessica Foster, said: “This sounds like a fantastic project and we are really glad we can support the team in Saltley as they begin work on the Hub.

“Shared spaces and centres of welcome and hospitality are vital to this city to ensure communities are connected and neighbourhoods strengthened.”

Near Neighbours grants are available to fund projects or activities which bring people of different faiths or ethnicities together to meet each other and work together to improve their neighbourhood. Community and faith groups based in 13 wards in central Birmingham are eligible for funding. For more details visit

For more information about Near Neighbours in Birmingham please contact Jessica Foster.

To find out more about The Hub please contact Andrew Smith or phone 0121 327 3845

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