Groups invited to apply for share of £300K funds

A NEW Community Asset Fund aimed at supporting local projects has been launched by Test Valley Borough Council.

Clubs, charities, voluntary organisations, parish and town councils, village and community hall committees and village shops will be eligible to apply for a share of £300,000.

Applicants can submit bids for 50 per cent of the cost of a project, up to a maximum of £25,000.

The council will award grants four times a year, and cut-off dates for submissions for each round will be published on the authority’s website.

Groups have until Monday, 6 January to submit bids for the first round of grants.

Once applications have closed, the bids will be reviewed and the money will be awarded to successful projects by 13 February, 2014.

Full terms and conditions and an application form are available online at testvalley.gov.uk/CAF.

Hard copies of the documents can be obtained from community engagement officer Marianne Piggin on 01264 368623.

Projects potentially eligible for funding include community projects, new builds, refurbishments to existing community buildings, play and recreation equipment and public art.

Councillor Tony Ward, portfolio holder for community and leisure, said: “This is fantastic news for the local community, and I look forward to seeing projects come forward to bid for a share of the funding.

“It can be extremely difficult for communities to get initiatives off the ground, as finances are invariably an issue.

“The Community Asset Fund will provide a valuable lifeline to ensure schemes can be progressed and delivered.

“It also forms part of the council’s commitment to help residents achieve their full potential.”

Funding for the grants will come from the council’s New Homes Bonus reserve, which is created by the Government, matching the council tax income for six years from new homes created in the borough.

The authority is able to use this money to help meet the needs of its growing communities.

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