‘Pump-priming’ for community groups

Tree planting at Steyning Community Orchard SUS-150225-111922003
Tree planting at Steyning Community Orchard SUS-150225-111922003
  • Community Initiative Funding allocated in Chanctonbury
  • Flood of applications since January
  • Village hall floor among projects supported

COMMUNITY projects have been given a boost with ‘pump-priming’ grant funding.

Chanctonbury County Local Committee has allocated grants to a range of projects in the district, having considered a total of 20 applications.

For the 2014/5 financial year, the committee had available a total Community Initiative Funding of £24,000, £9,736.35 of which was allocated last year.

Chairman David Barling said the committee had received a flood of applications this year, following an appeal in January for more applications.

He pointed out there would be a further £24,000 for the committee to allocate in the next financial year and the Members Big Society Fund, which had been significantly increased to around £500,000, would also be available for substantially larger projects than the CIF fund could support.

Mrs Pat Arculus highlighted the fact that the local member had to personally put in the grant application for the big society fund, and show support from the local community. The first deadline for applications was May 15.

A further £24,000 will be available for the committee to allocate in the next financial year

David Barling, committee chairman

Community Initiative Funding is designed as pump-priming for new initiatives and one-off applications for specific projects.

Among the awards made recently were £2,500 to replace the main hall flooring at Beeding and Bramber Village Hall, £1,000 to Steyning and District 3UA for IT equipment, £1,000 to Steyning Festival for ticketing equipment and £396 to Steyning and District Community Partnership to purchase a mobile literature stand.

Steyning Community Orchard received £1,500 towards the costs of website development, advertising banners and other materials.

Organisers highlighted the huge community support for the orchard and told the committee the grant would allow them to expand and promote it further.

The Bramber Society was given £222.60 to buy a ladder. Committee members suggested health and safety training for working at height, which West Sussex County Council’s volunteer development team could provide.

Three Steyning applications were deferred for more information, including Steyning Area Youth Service’s request for £795 for a pool table.

Steyning Business Chamber was told its application for £3,689 to replace parts for the Christmas lighting could be considered closer to the festive season.

A request for £2,500 from Steyning and District Community Partnerships for a tourist sign caused quite a discussion.

Members were told the tourist sign was similar to one on the northbound approach to Steyning and it would improve the attractiveness of the town to those passing by, as well as helping local businesses.

Cali Sparks, principal community officer, said the county council would allow the sign to be installed but would not maintain it, replace it, or fund it from the highway budget.

The committee deferred the application to get a proper breakdown of the cost and to find out if there was a precedent for CLCs to fund a sign of this nature.