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Community Investment Fund is back open for applications – with £2.7m to support local groups

Published: Friday, 18th September 2020

If you’ve got a great idea to improve your local area, the city council may be able to help with the investment you need to get it moving.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is making available a total of £2.7m in funding over the next three years for projects that can make a huge difference in communities right across the city. It builds on the runaway success of previous rounds of the fund, which has seen the authority give £3m to numerous groups, from communities groups that support vulnerable adults and children to sports clubs and teams.

Now the council is inviting communities across the city to come forward with their new ideas and projects. In this first round of funding they can bid for funding from £500 to up to £25,000 and communities can apply from Monday, September 21 until Friday, October 30.

The Community Investment Fund 2020-2023 is here to enable local people to develop creative ideas which help create a stronger city that we can all be proud of. It is the hope that these investments will support on-going activities in communities, providing funding to get new activities off the ground or provide an opportunity for communities to become more resilient against the risks of Covid-19.

There are four priority areas for the funding:

  • Support vulnerable people in our communities to live their lives well
  • Enable our residents to fulfil their potential
  • Help businesses thrive and make our city more prosperous
  • Work with our communities to make them healthier, safer and more sustainable

Applications will be reviewed by the council and funding allocated based on a number of criteria.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Community Investment Fund was launched back in June 2017 as part of its Stronger Together vision to support strong and resilient communities and to help groups develop their ideas to improve their neighbourhoods and the city as a whole.

Through the previous rounds, the city council pledged and invested £3million in capital funding over three years, with a range of grants being awarded to local groups and organisations who were working to create positive changes within their local area.

Andy Salt, chairman and head groundsman for previously successful applicant Stoke-on-Trent Trubshaw Cross LadsandDads said: “We were awarded £23,000 through the fund which enabled us to buy a new tractor and improve the quality and capacity of our natural turf pitches.

“Having the tractor has been fantastic and has made such a big difference. The pitches are now a better standard and less cancellations means more children playing football which is brilliant for everyone. We’ve also been able to recruit more volunteers to help out since we got the tractor.

“The Community Investment Fund was certainly one of the less painful grants we’ve applied for in terms of the application. The process was nice and easy and I would urge other groups in the city to give it a go.”

Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public health said: “We’re thrilled to be able to make this funding available again. In recent years the Community Investment Fund has been highly successful and we have seen wonderful examples of how the fund has helped local groups; from purchasing sports equipment to transforming community halls. I would urge anybody who has an idea to get in touch with us to hear more about the fund.”

Councillor Abi Brown, leader of the city council, said: “The previous rounds of the Community Investment Fund helped the city’s hard-working community groups to get new projects off the ground and develop others. We know that the work of local groups make a real difference to the lives of people in Stoke-on-Trent.

“I hope this new round will build on this success and further support communities across the city. Previously we had a fantastic response from a wide range of groups from right across the city; I cannot wait to hear people’s ideas!”

Applications open on September 21, 2020 and close on October 30, 2020. To apply for a share of the CIF or for more information go to www.stoke.gov.uk/cif or email communities@stoke.gov.uk.

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