Time is running out for community cash applications


Time is running out for community cash applications

Community groups across the district have until the end of this month to bid for a share of £80,000 in the latest round of council grants for community activity.

Applications for Rother District Council's Community Grant Scheme must be submitted before midnight on Sunday, January 31 2016.

The initiative aims to support local groups and organisations which benefit the people of Rother and help them to attract further funding.

Little Gate Care Farm in Beckley is just one organisation that has benefitted from a grant after applying for £5,000 to develop new buildings.

"The money couldn't have come at a better time," said charity CEO, Claire Cordell.  "We were in the early stages of developing the farm and needed to build a barn which could be used as a lambing shed and an educational area."

Little Gate Care Farm was set up 18 months ago to address a lack of opportunities in the local area for people with learning disabilities.

The charity offers adults with learning disabilities the chance to learn work-related skills and build their confidence ready to move on into its supported employment programme. It also runs respite services for children eight to 19 years.

"We are a charity and are only 50 per cent grant funded, so the grant from Rother District Council was a great help," Claire added. "Having the council's support gives us credibility when we apply for other funding.

"I would encourage other organisations to apply for a community grant. Definitely go for it as it can make a real difference."

Community Grants are divided into three categories. The maximum grant will be limited to 50 per cent of the total cost of the project:

• Small grants scheme - for grants of under £500.

• Medium grants scheme - for one-off-grants of up to £5,000. 30 per cent of the funding will need to come from local support.

• Large grants scheme - for a maximum grant of £30,000. Rother District Council will only fund a project with long-term viability The applicant will need to provide details of how ongoing costs will be met and high levels of community support.

All applications will need the support of the councillor(s) representing the ward where the project is based.

Cllr Tony Ganly, chairman of Rother District Council's grants panel, said: "The grants already awarded have made a real difference in helping groups and organisation which benefit their communities, and I'd urge other groups to apply to see if they too can benefit."

For more information, people can download a copy of the Community Grants Guidance and Criteria Information from www.rother.gov.uk/communitygrantscheme, email communitygrants@rother.gov.uk or call 01424 787864.

Rother District Council's Grants Panel, which meets twice a year, will meet in February to discuss the 2015/16 round two applications and present recommendations to Cabinet.  Members of the Cabinet make the final decision on community grants.

More information about Little Gate Care Farm is available online at http://littlegatecarefarm.co.uk/

Published on Monday, January 18 2016

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