Port Communities Resilience Fund opens Community Grants scheme for local groups

Port Communities Resilience Fund opens Community Grants scheme for local groups

 Local People are invited to influence which projects get funded

A Community Facilities grant scheme has been launched to support local organisations in Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston ward to improve the spaces they operate from, the equipment they use and the services they offer to local people.

The Community Facilities Grant Scheme is offering a total of £315,000 to community groups through a competitive grant scheme. It is part of the £1m Port Communities Resilience Fund (PCRF), which was approved by Bristol City Council’s Cabinet in August 2017 and is made up from profits gained through the sale of the Port Company in 2015.

Councillors, local residents and organisations met in November 2016 to help develop priorities for where the money should be spent within their ward and as a result three themes were agreed:

  • Jobs and enterprise
  • Improving community facilities
  • Thriving high streets

The Community Facilities Grant Scheme is designed to support the second theme and will provide grants between £10,000 and £100,000 to support improvements to buildings or to buy equipment. Applications for funding have now opened and applications are being invited from community groups within or offering services in the Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston, Sea Mills/Coombe Dingle and Shirehampton areas. The deadline for bids is Friday 4 December 2017 at 5pm.

Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This is a great opportunity to reinvest the money from the sale of the Port back in to the community where it is based. I hope that local organisations will use this fund to make small changes to their buildings to make sure they are able to stay with us long into the future whilst also encouraging more outside investment to the area.”

Applicants will be asked to show how their chosen projects will help strengthen them for the future and they’ll be required to double any investment they receive to show that they are able to seek new sources of funding.

Grants from the fund are only for improvements to physical assets such as buildings or equipment. It cannot be used to pay for salaries or ongoing running costs.

Support to apply

To help community groups apply for funding the council is holding three information events in September. In addition Voscur, the local Voluntary and Community support organisation, is offering help to any group in the ward so they can put together strong applications.

Contact Voscur at https://www.voscur.org  and click the “support” tab for access to their online request form. Or call them on 0117 909 9949, or email info@voscur.org.

Local People influencing which projects get funded

There are two ways local people can influence which projects succeed in getting a Community Facilities Grant.

Join the Resident Assessment Panel

Local residents (you have to live in Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston Ward) are invited to join a Resident Assessment Panel. They will meet organisations in January 2018 to hear about their projects and to question them and score them. Their scores will form part of the final decision about which organisations will be funded.

If you think you might be interested in taking part in this Resident Panel contact the Council on PCRF@bristol.gov.uk or phone Keith Houghton on 0117 922 2135

Join the Public Vote

There will be a public voting week in January 2018 on all projects which have submitted eligible applications. This will be both online and through local centres for people who don’t use computers. The results of this poll will also count towards the final funding decisions.

If you want to make sure you get information about this vote so you can take part contact the Council on PCRF@bristol.gov.uk or phone Keith Houghton on 0117 922 2135

Applying for a grant from the Community Facilities grant scheme

Any group considering developing a bid for this grant is strongly advised to attend one of these workshops:

Avonmouth – Tuesday 19 September 6.30pm – 8.30pm Avonmouth Community Centre, 257 Avonmouth Rd, Bristol, BS11 9ENwww.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pcrf-community-facilities-grant-scheme-information-event-tickets-37485390813

Lawrence Weston –Thursday 21 September 2pm – 4pm Lawrence Weston Baptist Church, 117-119 Long Cross, Lawrence Weston, BS11 0LT. www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pcrf-community-facilities-grant-scheme-information-event-tickets-37485387804

Shirehampton – Wednesday 27 September 6.30pm – 8.30pm Tithe Barn, Shirehampton Rd, Bristol, BS11 0DW.www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pcrf-community-facilities-grant-scheme-information-event-tickets-37485352699

The events are free to attend but space is limited so organisations are asked to sign up in advance on Eventbrite.

Guidance on how to apply to the Community Facilities Grant Scheme is on Bristol City Council’s website at: bristol.gov.uk/pcrfgrants. Updates will be published on this webpage.

For initial information on the Port Communities Resilience Fund – including requesting the guidance pack for the Community Facilities Grant Scheme, email PCRF@bristol.gov.uk

Other themes in the Port Communities Resilience Fund

The Jobs and Enterprise theme will fund improvements to local facilities to provide better access to people in Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston, which includes:

  • Job search support
  • Careers information advice and guidance
  • Training and skills development
  • Advice and support for business start-ups, including social enterprise
  • Advice and support for early stage / growing businesses
  • Equipment and technology for new digital and creative businesses.

 The Thriving High Streets theme will fund physical improvements to the ward’s four main high streets/shopping areas, including pavements, new and improved seating, litter bins and recycling facilities, improved signage, greenery and CCTV.