Central Bedfordshire Council approves new community grant schemes

Applicants must be able to match the funding

Central Bedfordshire Council is investing £700k in new grant schemes this year. These are designed to support local groups to meet the needs of their communities.

At today’s Executive meeting (20 August 2019) two new schemes were approved and the plans to launch a third were endorsed.

The Ward Councillor Grant Scheme will enable each of the 59 Central Bedfordshire councillors to work with groups in their areas to explore how relatively small amounts of grant funding could make a difference.

Whether the groups are involved in cultural, environmental, sporting or social projects, they will be able to apply. This is provided they can match fund the grant they are seeking by alternative means to council funding.

Each Central Bedfordshire Councillor will have access to £2,000. They can either support allocating in small grants to multiple organisations, or see the money allocated to a single group who have need of a larger grant.

Councillors can also work together across a ward to combine their grants, if that’s what is most needed.

For more significant projects, a Community Assets Grant Scheme is to be introduced for which groups can apply for grants of up to £25k.

The funding is for capital projects such as contributing to roof repairs or extensions or buying kit such as Christmas lights or a village defibrillator.

Subject to some further decision making (relating to constitutional arrangements for making payments) it is expected that both schemes will be launched in the autumn.

The third scheme under development is designed specifically to enable Central Bedfordshire Council to work with towns and parishes across the area to help improve the cleanliness and tidiness of our communities.

Executive member with responsibility for Communities, Cllr Tracey Stock, said:

“One of the many great things about Central Bedfordshire is the community spirit which runs through our towns, villages and rural parishes, like a lifeblood.

“Whether a small group need new catering equipment for coffee mornings, or a sports club want to refurbish their changing rooms, the grants are designed to be flexible enough to lend support where it is most needed.”

From 1 October more information about the grants and how to apply for them will be available on the council’s website.