A delegation from The NSA STRIDES Alliance project which delivers employability support across Neath Port Talbot, have just returned from a successful trip to the European Commission in Brussels. The NSA team gave a presentation for the Regio Stars 2013 Awards , ‘Innovative Growth Category’ where they have been recognised for a unique approach to Social Innovation.
NSA Strides marking their nomination for a European Regiostars Award (Left to right) Christine Esposito (NSA Director), Louise Gregory (NSA STRIDES Alliance Manager), Ian Isaac (NSA Chief executive), Derek Vaughan MEP, Gary Roberts (NSA Chair), Mal Emerson NSA Development Manager)
Regio Stars is an annual event, to recognise and reward innovative projects supported by EU cohesion policies The Awards have been organised by the European Commission since 2008. Regio Stars 2013 has seen a record of 149 applications from project promoters and regions from across all Member States in the European Union. The Regio Stars Jury, under the chairmanship of Mr Luc Van den Brande, chose 27 finalists across the categories. This year three awards are on offer in important themes for the Europe 2020 strategy: Smart growth, Sustainable growth and Inclusive growth.
NSA STRIDES Alliance was the sole finalist from Wales and one of only four from across the whole UK. It was nominated by The Welsh European Funding Office, which joint funds the project via the European Social Fund, Convergence Programme. The project has been designed and implemented by the NSA Communities First team, in Sandfields and Aberavon.
Mr Derek Vaughan, European MEP, said:
"This is a very prestigious award for Neath Port Talbot and Wales as a whole. NSA has shown how to maximise Communities First funding to implement the NSA STRIDES Alliance project in partnership with the Welsh European Funding Office. I am delighted that NSA has been nominated for this award in a very competitive environment covering the whole European Region"
The Winning Award Ceremony will take place in Brussels in early 2013. More details on the Regio Stars can be found on the Inforegio website: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/index_en.htm