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News release from: 09/05/2024

Launch of Northstowe Community Activation Fund

Launch of Northstowe Community Activation Fund

Homes England, the government’s housing and regeneration agency, has announced £120,000 of grant funding to help organisations promote community cohesion and enhance the vibrancy of life in Northstowe.

The master developer for the remaining phases of the new community, Homes England, will provide up to £20,000 of grant funding each year through this newly created fund, spanning from 2024 to 2029. South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) will administer the fund on behalf of Homes England.

The funding will support projects that will directly benefit Northstowe residents, contribute to community vibrancy, and enable opportunities for resident participation. Successful applications could include initiatives that promote access to arts and cultural activities; support environmental sustainability; and promote the use of community facilities in Northstowe.

The call for applications is now open and full details of the submission criteria can be found online. Applicants must be a non-profit group or organisation that is based in Northstowe or benefits Northstowe residents, a public sector body with a demonstrable community focus, or a Parish or Town Council.

Matthew Brown, head of large sites at Homes England, commented: "Supporting people to form connections and build a sense of belonging is critical when it comes to creating new places – particularly when it comes to significant new developments like Northstowe.

"We’ve been investing in the growing the Northstowe community for some time now, and it’s been brilliant to see the creative ways in which our support has helped to enhance vibrancy in the emerging town, from enabling a major art project to funding youth support and festive activities.

"It’s great to now be opening up the Community Activation Fund for submissions and we're looking forward to seeing the applications come in. Through this investment, we’ll be working with SCDC to support projects that enhance community cohesion and quality of life as Northstowe continues to develop and flourish over the coming years."

Even though the emerging town is still in its infancy – Northstowe is set to be transformed into a thriving new community of around 25,000 people over the next two decades – a diverse community is already shaping its unique identity. Over 3,000 people currently call Northstowe home, and there are a series of thriving community and faith groups, along with a dedicated Town Council, in place.

Many residents are already making use of the Western Park Sports Pavilion and The Cabin, a temporary community centre on The Green. The community also benefits from a community orchard and allotments, delivered by SCDC, and managed by Northstowe Horticultural Association, as well as a weekly market.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Bill Handley, said: "Northstowe is already a super place to live with some fantastic facilities – including the impressive brand-new sports pavilion and pitches, schools, allotments, a beautiful waterpark, walking and cycling trails, arts, and horticulture groups, and so much more. We are now looking forward to this grant being used to support larger scale community initiatives. The idea is to really help showcase what Northstowe can offer, raising awareness of what a brilliant place it is to call home. We would love to see this money used to fund big events that help build Northstowe’s already wonderful sense of community – such as local celebrations, sports festivals or events that further improve health and wellbeing."

The application portal is now accepting submissions and will be open year-round.