News release from 05/04/2019

Bid now for Community Chest funding

Bid now for Community Chest funding

Village groups and local good causes across South Cambridgeshire can now bid for a share of almost £60,000 from the District Council’s popular Community Chest scheme.

The Community Chest targets funds at local grass-roots projects that benefit those residents most in need. Groups who want to apply for up to £1,000 are being encouraged to do so now.

Half of the £58,000 funding is available now and the remaining half will be made available in October. Groups can complete an application on this part of the Council's website.

The Council has funded the Community Chest scheme since 2011, handing out more than £500,000 in grants to local good causes in that time. Recent grants have been given to organisations including Northstowe Sports and Wellbeing Group, 1st Papworth Scout Group, Toft Historical Society and Linton Cricket Club.

Gavin Bowie from Linton Cricket Club said: “We’re incredibly grateful to the Community Chest for our grant of £1,000. This has made a huge difference to our cricket club as we have been able to purchase a much-needed piece of maintenance equipment. The addition of this machine means cricket can continue to be played and enjoyed for many years to come.”

Following a review of the schemes’ criteria by the Council’s Grants Advisory Committee last year, some changes were made to ensure funding has the best chance of reaching those residents and projects that will most benefit.

The changes include targeting village groups and projects that help to build a sense of community, and those that work to reach people who are lonely or socially isolated. Councillors also say they are keen schemes that help to promote young people’s skills are given a greater chance of successfully bidding for funding than previously was the case.

The guidance for the Community Chest states that applicants must be non-profit groups or organisations based in South Cambridgeshire, or benefiting the district’s residents. The community activity or project must achieve one or more of the following aims:

  • Help promote health and active communities
  • Enable inclusive communities
  • Develop skills
  • Enhance the natural environment
  • Meet local need and leave a legacy for the community
  • Ensure equality of access

This could include funding improvements to community buildings, land or spaces, repairs to historic buildings, monuments or memorials, the purchase of equipment, materials or start-up costs.

The smallest parishes, that only receive small precepts to their Parish Councils or Meetings due to their population size, will still be able to apply for Community Chest funding. This currently includes Childerley, Papworth St Agnes, Knapwell, Bartlow, Shingay-Cum-Wendy, Conington, Lolworth, Abington Pigotts, Croxton, Tadlow and Carlton.

However, the scheme is no longer be open to Parish Councils with more than 160 registered electors. This is because, the larger villages are, the more funding their local Parish Council can raise on their own via their dedicated Council Tax precepts.

Chair of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Grants Advisory Committee, Cllr Jose Hales (pictured - above left), said: “We’re modernised the Council’s Community Chest scheme to make sure it has a laser focus on benefiting the residents and groups in South Cambridgeshire that need help most. These groups generally have the fewest funding options open to them so it’s excellent that we’ll be able to give them a helping hand. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of applications come in.”

The Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr John Williams (pictured - above right), added: “I’d encourage groups that want to bid for funds to do so as soon as possible because we expect demand to be high. We’re pleased to be able to offer these grants to really deserving local projects and causes that make such a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of South Cambridgeshire residents. Please do get those bids in now via the Council’s website.”