Funding available for community groups in Calderdale

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Community groups in Calderdale are being encouraged to apply for a share of £148,000.

The funding available from the Community First Neighbourhood Matched Fund is to help develop and expand their valuable work.

In the last two years more than £3 million has been allocated to social action projects in the Yorkshire and Humber region and some 600,000 volunteering hours have been contributed to date as projects ‘match’ their Government money.

Now community groups can apply by visiting and finding details of their local community panel.

Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd said: “We want to support people who are passionate and have the drive to make their communities better places to live. That’s why we are making small amounts of money available across the country through the Community First Neighbourhood Matched Fund so that many more people have the means to make their ideas come to life and improve where they live.”

The Government launched the Community First Neighbourhood Matched Fund in 2011 to open up more opportunities for local projects by providing small grants to community groups and local social action projects in some of the most deprived areas of the country. This has resulted in innovative social action initiatives being implemented across England.

There are 600 ward panels based across the country who decide on local priorities and how to best allocate funding in their area. Residents apply to their local panel with a community focused proposal. If approved, funds are awarded directly to the project by the delivery partner – the Community Development Foundation.

Alison Seabrooke, Chief Executive of the Community Development Foundation, said: “What I love about the Community First Neighbourhood Matched Fund is that it is bringing the best out in communities. Across the country we see people coming together to decide local priorities, they’re volunteering in their communities and they are being supported in this with much needed funding. This shows that small sums of money can have a huge impact and act as a catalyst for change.”

The Community Neighbourhood Matched Fund is a catalyst for new activity. Ten per cent of projects have been established since it launched and the programme has reached new community groups, 38 per cent of whom had not received public funds before.

Most projects benefited from 292 volunteering hours on average, building on the goodwill which already existing in communities as 91 per cent of existing projects already had regular volunteers.