From the leader, Cllr Doug Oliver – September 10, 2021

My cabinet colleagues and I were delighted this week to be able to commit £115,000 in grants to six very worthwhile projects which will hugely benefit communities across the district

It has become increasingly difficult for small community groups to access external funding, with more and more vying for a share of dwindling pots of money.  The £130,000 Rother District Council makes available each year means projects that make a difference to our residents can get off the ground.

In the latest round of funding, guided by our grants panel, we have been able to support a range of projects from improvements to play equipment to the development of a purpose-built venue for young people.

Groups sometimes doubt that their project could secure funding from the district council, but I would encourage people to talk to us and find out how we can help. We also run a small grant scheme, open all year round, for those groups who require up to £1,000. With £5,000 remaining in the pot for this financial year, it’s worth looking into.

Recognising the importance of community grants, whilst being realistic about the financial pressure councils face, I am pleased to say that officers and councillors are currently working on a community lottery that will help to fund these vital projects and safeguard the support so many groups have come to rely upon.  We hope to be able to share details with you soon.

Next year marks an amazing 70 years of service by the Queen and events will be taking place across the country.  We want to help Rother celebrate this landmark by match funding events organised by town and parish councils and community groups, and we have this week agreed a pot of £10,000 to ensure towns and villages can get into the party spirit.

Full details of all our grant schemes can be found on our website.

Over the past year we have been able to support local businesses through the Covid pandemic with the help of Government funding.  Having distributed more than £2.85 million across Rother, thanks to the hard work of officers, we qualified for further funding and have more than £550,000 to support businesses still trying to recover.

The money will be targeted at businesses forced to close temporarily due to staff isolating, rural businesses needing support to remain viable, owners of empty shops to enable temporary window displays to improve the look vacant properties and encouraging new businesses into empty commercial properties by helping meet their fixed costs. Money for local authorities is finite, but by working together we continue to ensure that we make the most of every penny of funding that comes into the district.

Published: 13th September 2021