South Cambs community groups urged to apply for council funding boost

Parish councils in South Cambs can now bid for an increased funding pot. Picture: Archant

Parish councils in South Cambs can now bid for an increased funding pot. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

With the second wave of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Community Chest open now, parish councils in our area are being encouraged to take advantage of increased funding for their projects.

Now, the Community Chest budget has been increased to £49,070 and new eligibility criteria means more parish councils could benefit.

The Community Chest fund supports parish councils and other community 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 money has been allocated.

Applications for the second half of the pot are now being taken and groups have until March 2020 - or until the allocated funds are exhausted - to apply via South Cambridgeshire District Council.

During SCDC's most recent grants advisory committee meeting, a decision was taken to allow the fund to be open for more parish councils.

The grants advisory committee will now have the flexibility to accept and review bids from parish councils or parish meetings with an increase on the previous limit on 160 registered electors, or with multiple small settlements.

A further £20,000 was added to this year's funding pot after a seperate initiatve for elite athletes was discontinued earlier this year.

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The Chair of SCDC's grants advisory committee, Councillor Jose Hales - who represents Melbourn - said: "We take pleasure in providing proactive groups who do such a lot for their communities with essential funding. Everyone can appreciate how small grants can make a really big difference for local groups.

"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."

Applicants can be non-profit groups or organisations based in South Cambridgeshire or benefiting the district's residents.

SCDC has funded the scheme since 2011, with more than £550,000 being provided in grants over that period.