News release from 23/03/2021

Council launches £30,000 Covid Recovery Grant for local communities

Person at a laptop with phone

A £30,000 Covid recovery grant fund to help local community groups and parish councils resume activities has been launched by South Cambridgeshire District Council.

As the Government’s cautious road-map out of lockdown continues, the Council has earmarked the financial package as part of its Community Chest funding so that community groups and parish councils can progress projects and services that will support local people.

The Council’s Grants Advisory Committee has temporarily amended the rules around eligibility criteria for its Community Chest Grant scheme for the next two months to allow applications for grants of up to £2,000 for Covid recovery related projects and initiatives.

Previously, few parish councils could apply to the scheme as the criteria stipulated they had to have fewer than 160 registered electors. But for the next eight weeks, it will be open to all parish councils and community groups – including new ones that are now setting up. Applications are now being accepted until 10 May 2021, with submissions being reviewed at the May 28 Grants Advisory Committee meeting.

Meanwhile, the normal Community Chest Grant scheme continues to run for community groups for a maximum grant of £1,000.

Applying for a Covid Recovery Community Chest Grant is the same as applying for a standard Community Chest Grant. The applicant simply selects which type of grant they are applying for at the start of the process with all other criteria being the same.

Chair of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Grants Advisory Committee, Cllr Jose Hales said: “It’s been a hugely difficult period for many local voluntary organisations which have struggled to keep going or to continue with much-needed projects. As we come out of the pandemic and try to rebuild, community cohesion will be more important than ever and extending the scope of our Community Chest funding for a short period will give a boost to getting some of those valuable projects and services back on track.”

Councillor Bill HandleyCllr Bill Handley (pictured right), the Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Community Resilience, Health and Wellbeing, said: “Our Community Chest funding is all about the improvement of quality of life in South Cambridgeshire. Volunteers have played a crucial role in helping our communities get through the pandemic and we are immensely grateful to them. However, some of the activities of voluntary organisations and parish councils have had to be on hold for a whole year, and their role will be crucial in the coming months as we all progress through to recovery and renewal. By increasing the amount available to them and extending the criteria for acceptance for a limited period, the grants will hopefully help to give renewed impetus to their work, whether it is helping in practical ways by providing services and an improved environment, or supporting residents who are suffering with depression, stress or anxiety.”

For further details, please email community.chest@scambs.gov.uk