Changes announced to the eligibility criteria of a council’s Community Chest fund will give more Parish Councils in South Cambridgeshire a chance to bid for funding to support their community projects – while at the same time the total funding, available to March, will increase to £49,070.
Council’s Community Chest fund increases to £49,000 as criteria is widened to allow more groups to bid
The Community Chest fund supports Parish Councils and other local groups in their efforts to promote active and healthy lifestyles, build inclusive communities, and enhance the natural environment – and groups can bid for up to £1,000 from the fund towards these projects.
Each year, the fund is split in half so that groups applying later in the year will still have an opportunity to bid before the funding has all been allocated. Applications for the second half of the pot are now being taken, and groups can apply via South Cambridgeshire District Council's website. Bids will be reviewed on a monthly basis until March, or until the year’s allocated funds have all been awarded.
At the last meeting of the Council’s Grants Advisory Committee in early October a decision was taken to expand access to the fund for more small Parish Councils. The Grants Advisory Committee will now have more flexibility around whether to accept and review bids from Parish Councils or Parish Meetings with slightly more than the previous limit of 160 registered electors, or with multiple small settlements. Additionally, a further £20,000 was added to this year’s pot, after a separate fund for elite athletes was discontinued earlier this year.
More information about the new eligibility criteria can be found on the Council’s website with both decisions effective, subject to the Council’s usual call in process.
The Chair of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Grants Advisory Committee, Cllr Jose Hales, said: “As ever, we really take pleasure in providing proactive groups who do such a lot for their communities with essential funding. All of the projects are really valuable and everyone can appreciate how small grants can make a really big difference for local groups. Often community groups have to rely on funding their own projects, so grant-funding like this can be an enormous help.
“The decision to amend the eligibility criteria should mean that we are able to welcome even more Parish Councils and Parish Meetings that previously might have been excluded due to their formation or size. If anyone needs guidance on whether their group would be eligible to apply for funding, please get in touch with the grants team at the Council as they are always happy to support groups in their applications.”
The Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr John Williams, added: “It is always a pleasure to hear the positive work that people across the district are involved in and in the first half of the year we approved many worthy projects that will make a real difference in South Cambridgeshire communities. Being able to increase access to the grant, and the total pot available, is fantastic news. All we need now is for local groups to continue bidding for funds, and we look forward to seeing their applications come through.”
Applicants to the Community Chest scheme can be non-profit groups or organisations based in South Cambridgeshire or benefiting the district’s residents. The projects must also meet a local need, leave a legacy for the community and ensure equality of access.
The Council has funded the Community Chest scheme since 2011, handing out more than £550,000 in grants to local good causes in that time.
South Cambridgeshire is the second largest district in Cambridgeshire.