The deadline is looming for community groups, charities and young people in the county to apply for funding from a much valued community grant scheme.
Grants of up to £5,000 are available from Northumberland County Council to help deliver activities that benefit residents and communities – but applicants need to hurry as the deadline for the first round of applications is Friday 29 September.
The council’s long running Community Chest Fund was improved and relaunched earlier this summer following consultation with local communities.
One of the key improvements to fund is a new grant called ‘Help For You’ which is aimed specifically at the under 18s. Grants of up to £200 are available to help individuals in pursuing a particular ambition – whether it is sporting, musical or academic.
Other changes to the scheme include:
- Community chest budgets will be managed and allocated by local area councils;
- The budget for each area council is based on the population living in that area;
- Local area councils are able to identify funding themes relevant to their communities;
- For local schemes there will be a £5,000 upper grant limit with a maximum award of 75% of the cost of any proposal;
- The countywide element of the fund has doubled to £60,000, with no upper limit but the maximum grant award of 75% of the project’s costs, and
- There will be two funding rounds each year.
Leader of Northumberland County Council Peter Jackson said: “We’ve listened to the views of local communities and feel we have made a number of very helpful changes to the grant scheme to widen its appeal, including opening it up so that young people are eligible to apply.
“We would like to see this fund providing support to the many valued local groups and voluntary organisations that are making a real difference in every corner of the county. If you have a project that you think could benefit please don’t hesitate to get in touch.”
The community chest fund has been in operation in Northumberland since 2009 and over its lifetime 1,450 awards totalling £2.6million have been made to voluntary and community groups to develop projects that enhance the environment, improve health and wellbeing and strengthen communities.
If you are not in a position to apply for funding this month, you can still apply at a future date. The second deadline for funding applications is 12 January 2018.
To apply, applicants must fill out an application form. This can be done online or by downloading the form from www.northumberland.gov.uk. If you have any queries, please email iain.hedley@northumberland.