Local groups are set to benefit from a total of £900,000 in grant funding under Cambridge City Council’s community grants scheme.
A report published today to the council’s Community Services Scrutiny Committee recommends allocating funds to a wide range of groups and organisations including those providing sporting, arts, cultural and community development activities, as well as legal advice and support.
Applications for grants were assessed to see how proposed activities would reduce social and or economic inequality in the city for those residents with greatest need.
Groups applying had to show how their activity would contribute to one or more of the council’s priorities including improving health and wellbeing, bringing communities together, improving employment opportunities or creating a stronger voluntary sector in the city.
Funding, which is still subject to the council’s budget setting process, is recommended for those that have been able to demonstrate how their activities will support those people in most need.
Among the groups set to benefit from grant funding are The Junction, Cambridge Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Cambridge Women’s Resource Centre, Cambridge Disabled Kids Swimming Club, Cambridge and District Volunteer Centre, Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service, Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum, Cambridge Housing Society (CHS) Group, Centre 33, Encompass Network, Homestart Cambridgeshire Family Group, Richmond Fellowship and SexYOUality.
Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Community, Arts and Recreation, said: “I recognise the valuable role that community, arts and sports organisations play in the life of our city.
“So many show huge commitment, but with fewer resources our top priority for these grants has to be those groups that are working to support those who are in most need.
“We propose to continue supporting organisations of key importance such as the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and Women’s Resource Centre who will, if the grants funding package recommended is approved at committee, see their grant funding held at the same levels as last year.
“The funding package proposed shows that nearly 80% of applications will receive an offer of grant funding. We have had to strike a balance between making savings due to unavoidable financial pressures and maintaining a significant but sustainable level of support to community groups.”
The council initiated a review of grant funding in January of this year which included options for reducing grant funding by up to 30%. This review led to a report recommending a 25% reduction in the grants budget and this was approved at Community Services Scrutiny Committee in July.
As this is the first round of grant allocation since new eligibility criteria were introduced, the council is proposing to set up a special transition fund. This would give one-off funding to some of those organisations facing a lower level of grant than they received in past years.
Subject to approval of the council’s overall budget the community grants budget would be fixed at £900,000 for a further two years. Some £80,000 of community grants will be allocated by the council’s area committees.
Cllr Johnson is recommended to approve the grants funding package at Community Services Scrutiny Committee on 15 January.
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