A new fund has been set up by two West Suffolk councils to encourage and enable organisations to innovate and explore ways they can improve the lives of residents.
Community Chest is a new flexible fund set up by Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council to simplify the range of funding the two councils previously offered.
Organisations can still apply for funding and will be asked to show how it will help the two West Suffolk councils to support families and strengthening community resilience. The councils will also be able to commission a voluntary, charity or community groups to carry out a project, which again helps meet its families and communities agenda.
Cllr Robin Millar, Forest Heath District Council’s Cabinet Member for Families and Communities said: “Charitable, community and voluntary organisations can bring enormous change and improvements to a local area. The Community Chest will allow us to work with these organisations, to enable or encourage them to innovate and explore new ways of delivering their services, to the benefit of local residents across West Suffolk.”
Cllr Robert Everitt, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Families and Communities said: “It is also about helping our communities identify their own priorities rather than politicians and national bodies dictating to them. We will be playing an active role as a partner investing in a charity, community group or voluntary organisation, in order that they can deliver a service that local people actually need.”
The level of grant available through the two councils has been increased by £20,000 with a combined total of more than £500,000 available for 2016/17.
More information about the Community Chest will be available at the Smarter Funding: Better Outcomes conference at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on 15 July from 9.30am. To book a place phone Kirsty Downes on 01284 757040 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A smaller amount of money – approximately £110,000 - is available for 15/16. The closing date for applications is the end of July. Meanwhile in order to give organisations some financial certainty, the closing date for applications for 2016/17 is the end of September 2015.
Further details about the Community Chest fund, the councillor locality budget scheme and West Suffolk’s Families and Communities Strategy can be found at: www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/community