Exeter Community Forum members celebrated the launch of a new programme of funding to support community action across the city at their October meeting.
The Grass Roots Grants Fund is being launched by Exeter Community Forum and Exeter City Council and is expected to invest £3.7m over 10 years.
The fund has been set up from the levy developers pay towards infrastructure when houses are built. The money will enable communities to invest in projects and community assets, such as community halls, that make a real difference to a local area.
The launch of the Fund comes after two years of hard work by Exeter’s community organisations to put together a plan for strengthening communities to face the changes, challenges and opportunities of the Exeter’s growth over the next decade.
Diana Moore, Chair of the Exeter Community Forum, said,
“These funds are a great start to putting our plan into action. They will be put to very good use by community organisations wanting to involve more people, provide valued services, renew community buildings and really consider how they can best work with other organisations to support and help local people.”
But its isn’t just money alone that will make the difference, Councillor Paul Bull, portfolio holder for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said,
“It’s a really good time to get involved in your local community organisation. This money will have so much more impact because the application process will recognise the dedication who help people feel safe and belong, provide help and practical support, get active and create pride in their neighbourhoods.”
The Grass Roots Grants programme round one will be open until the end of December 2016. The first round will consider applications for an overall grant pot of £50,000.
There will be three grants rounds a year and information about the funds and how to apply can be found at www.exetercommunityforum.net.