Essex County Council opens applications for new Community Challenge Fund

News / Fri 11th Mar 2022 pm31 06:53pm

ESSEX County Council hopes that the new fund will be used to help connect local people and give them the power to make a real difference in improving their own neighbourhoods.  This forms part of our commitment to reducing inequalities between different areas of our County and levelling up Essex.

With a simple and quick application and decision process, bids will be awarded to small scale projects between the value of £300- £2,000 to fund a new, not for profit scheme, group, initiative or idea. 

It may be that local residents have been sitting on an idea for a while for how they can enhance their community and it has just lacked the necessary funding to get it started, in which case the Community Challenge Fund could really help. 

Ideas might include setting up a food growing initiative in the local community to create a garden and social space, or perhaps creating an informal childcare club of likeminded parents in the local library. Or money might be needed for training and equipment to share skills; printing for a local event or newsletter; hosting and promoting an online magazine for young people; setting up a local community seed exchange; providing taxi or licenced hire vehicles to bring isolated residents together or maybe setting up a clothes swap in the village hall.

Applications are open now and will operate on a rolling basis, so there is no deadline for applications.  The fund is specifically targeted at communities in the identified levelling up areas of Clacton, Harwich, Canvey, Harlow, Rural Braintree and parts of Colchester and Basildon.

Cllr Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnership and Performance of Essex County Council said: “We know that people’s lives can be richer and fuller when they are able to contribute to the area they live in, and residents across the County have great ideas for what their communities need. 

“I am delighted that we can now offer this new community challenge fund, which will allow communities to bring their own ideas for strengthening their local area to life and make the most of what it has to offer. I really look forward to seeing the results over the coming year.” 

Applications can be made via www.essexfuture.org.uk/boards-networks/communities-mission-network/community-challenge-fund-applications

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