Community Grants now open with an even bigger pot available

Community Chest is the council’s small grant scheme and has been running for over 35 years

Southampton City Council recently awarded £32,299 to local community and voluntary organisations via round one of the Community Chest and Celebrations Grants Schemes. It is now inviting new applications for the next round, which has a larger awarding budget than previous rounds.

Community Chest is the council’s small grant scheme and has been running for over 35 years, it currently awards grants of up to £2,500 to community groups, small voluntary organisations and social enterprises in the city with annual incomes of less than £250,000. Smaller grants are also available up to £500 as a sub section of the Community Chest Grant for community celebration events that bring different people together.

In 2020/21 the overall budget available is £104,000, this comprises of a £100,000 main budget plus an additional £4,000 which is ring-fenced for activities that benefit residents living in the Freemantle and Shirley wards and part of Millbrook ward (between Shirley Road and Regent’s Park Road).

Both the Community Chest and Celebrations Grants are awarded twice a year and the budget is ordinarily divided approximately equally between the two rounds. The next round is unique in that £71,701 is available, this is due to application numbers being lower than usual in the last round as the application period was during the COVID-19 lockdown.

All grant-funded projects, events and activities must contribute to at least one of the council’s four priority outcomes, which are Communities, Culture and Homes, Green City, Wellbeing and Place Shaping. Organisations with an annual income of less than £50,000 have priority. The decision maker for both grant schemes is the Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, following recommendations by the cross-party Community Chest Grant Advisory Panel.

Councillor David Shields, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities said: “The council recognises and values the vital role that local groups from across the city play in supporting their communities and this year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic this has become even more important. The Community Chest and Celebrations Grants can make a huge difference to community and voluntary organisations that are delivering a range of fantastic services locally and grants can be used to help groups restart their activities safely. This might be of particular interest to new organisations and additional support is available to help put together an application. I would strongly encourage local groups to submit an application for the next round of the grant.”

All grants will be awarded on condition that the activities/events are carried out in line with Government guidance about COVID-19, to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

The closing date for the next round of Community Chest Grant is 12 noon Friday 30 October 2020.

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