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Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and advice

SWT aims to create Community Chest Fund

02 September 2020 : Council news, Community

SWT is aiming to create a new fund to help communities recover from the effects of COVID-19.

The proposed Community Chest of £250,000 would be used to support one-off initiatives that contribute to COVID-19 recovery and community cohesion across the district.

The grants are intended to supplement activities and projects run by the voluntary and community sector and wider community groups who are not able to secure mainstream funding from the Council or other sources.

One-off grants of up to £5,000 could be awarded, covering up to 75% of the total cost with applicants needing to find at least 25% from their own or other sources, which can include an in-kind contribution.

The Community Chest Scheme would give consideration to initiatives that will help community groups to become sustainable in the longer term; that will help the community to recover from the effects of COVID-19; and are aligned to SWTs corporate priorities of housing and communities, the environment and the economy.

The Executive Member for Communities, Cllr Chris Booth, would have delegated permission to make decisions relating to the fund, engaging with ward members on proposed spending to ensure that there is a geographic spread to the funding allocation.

Cllr Booth said: “A variety of groups who have not received a grant or other funding from the Council will be able to access this fund and acquire a timely boost to support their activities as lockdown measures continue to ease.

"There are so many people working hard in our communities to enable projects to operate safely and community activities to take place. We hope to be able to support them as they restore community life and reinvigorate from the effects of COVID-19.”

SWT’s Scrutiny Committee is set to recommend that the Executive approve a supplementary budget of £250,000 for the Community Chest, to be funded from Business Rates Retention Pilot surplus income due to be received in 2020/21.