Sadly, due to the council’s challenging financial situation this year, we will be reducing the amount of grant funding available through the final round of our Communities Fund.
Following a council-wide budget review, which included the option of removing round 3 altogether, a decision has been made to continue it with a reduced budget of £25,000.
The Communities Fund
The Communities Fund is an annual grant programme set up to support local community groups, voluntary organisations, and not-for-profit social enterprise. It is an open, accessible fund that is flexible and responsive to the city’s changing needs around the climate, poverty and inequality.
The fund managed in 3 rounds throughout the year, with rounds 1 and 2 covering full and part year project costs, and the smaller grants for final quarter costs in round 3.
A total of £278,934 grant funding has been awarded so far this financial year through the first 2 rounds. Reducing the final round will create a much-needed saving to the council budget of around £49,000.
The £15,000 proportion of the Communities Fund ring-fenced to support Black and Racially Minoritised groups in the city is continuing. Applications for the latest round of the BME Engagement Fund are open now.
We will be keeping to the process for making the grant funding decisions and will be contacting all organisations who’ve applied within the timescales previously set.
Staff will also be in touch with applicants to signpost to alternative funding opportunities and offer non-financial support.
Councillor Leslie Pumm, chair of the Equality, Community Safety and Human Rights committee said: “We’re very sorry that we’ve had to make the difficult decision to reduce funding for round 3 of the Communities Fund this year.
“We are facing significant financial challenges this year, with every service across the council looking to review budgets to identify savings that can be made. Unfortunately, there are only difficult choices and unpalatable decisions left.
“However, I am happy we’ve been able to strike a balance and offer some funding to support the vital work of the city’s community organisations.
“We appreciate this makes the application process even more competitive. Staff will be in touch with all applicants to signpost to other potential sources of funding.
“We do really value the fantastic support community groups offer across the city, which is why we were so keen to keep £25,000 of the funding to help fund some of the projects.”