£3 million funding pot launched to support community projects

Community groups are being invited to an event to find out how they can bid for a share of a £3 million cash pot to buy new equipment and improve facilities.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is launching its Community Investment Fund (CIF), spearheaded by Deputy Leader, Conservative Cllr Abi Brown, which will give out £1 million a year for the next three years – at the King’s Hall, Stoke, on Wednesday (June 28).

This drop-in event will be held between 3pm and 7pm and is an opportunity for community groups, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and voluntary groups to find out more about the CIF and how to apply for a share of this capital funding.

Members of the council’s Local Matters team will be on hand to advise groups on how to bring their ideas to life, and representatives from other funders – such as the Big Lottery, The Prince’s Trust, and Staffordshire Community Foundation – will also be present.

Parking on nearby Kingsway is £1 after 3pm and free refreshments will be available.

Conservative Councillor Abi Brown, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and partnerships, said: “The CIF is intended to help communities develop creative ideas to do their bit to improve their neighbourhood and the city as a whole.

“Part of our Stronger Together vision, it follows on from the launch of the Community Pledges last year – informal agreements between the city council and everyone who lives and works in the city.

“It’s fantastic news that we are able to support communities in this way, and I would encourage people to think about ways they can do something for themselves, which also improves the city.

“The money is intended to be used on equipment or physical improvements to buildings, rather than paying for staff or running costs.

“It would be brilliant if groups considered how they could use the funding to put on events to support our City of Culture bid too. Everyone needs to get behind the bid and community groups are some of our greatest advocates for the measures we are taking to create a city we can all be proud of.”

Grants of between £500 and £50,000 are available, with applications needing to meet a range of criteria. In addition, themes for projects are recommended to have an impact on:
Supporting families to fulfil their potential
Thriving places and communities.
Strong communities, where people live their lives well

Groups applying for larger projects will need to speak with the Local Matters team before applying to make sure they fit in with local planning and conservation regulations.