More cash for community groups in council grant schem

editorial image

West Sussex County Council’s network of County Local Committees (CLCs) will have more cash to support local community projects in the 2013/14 financial year.

Each CLC currently has £4,000 per committee member to distribute as part of the Community Initiative Fund scheme (CIF).

However, as a result of a decision taken today (Friday) by the full council that will be increased to £6,000.

In total it means that £426,000 will be available to support worthy causes in the next financial year - an increase of £113,300.

CIF has provided vital funds to community groups and organisations across West Sussex since it was started in 2006. Over this time more than £1.2 million has been awarded to over 450 organisations.

County council leader, Louise Goldsmith said: “Supporting strong, active communities is really important, and this funding stream has helped all sorts of projects organised by local people for their local community from helping to run an event for local people to purchasing equipment for a local organisation or supporting a food bank.

“In these difficult times supporting local communities has become more important than ever, and I am delighted we have found this extra money to have even more impact.”

Today’s decision also brings more flexibility to the CIF funding scheme.

At present, applications for grants have to come from community groups but in future county councillors will also be allowed to identify local projects they feel would benefit from CIF and submit an application.

The county council has 14 CLCs, each made-up of county councillors from local electoral divisions.

Full details of the criteria for the CIF scheme and how to apply can be found on the County Local Committee pages of www.westsussex.gov.uk

There is more good grants news for 2013/14 with Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Michael Brown, confirming that £300,000 will be available in both a fund to support Social Enterprises and the Members’ Big Society Fund, which allows councillors to bid on behalf of community projects.

In the current financial year the Social Enterprise Fund supported a wide range of schemes from a painting and decorating social enterprise to support for the West Sussex Credit Union.

The Big Society fund supported 31 schemes ranging from improving community buildings to a football based training scheme aimed at young people not in any form of education, employment or training.