Non-profit voluntary and community groups in the East Park and Ettingshall areas of Wolverhampton (comprising Parkfields, All Saints, Millfields, Sedgemoor Park, Horseley Fields, Rough Hills, Eastfield, Stow Lawn, part of Portobello and East Park), will have the opportunity to bid for cash from a special community fund. The Community First grant scheme was set up last year to help the development of existing groups and encourage new ones to open.
In the first year of the four-year programme, the Communities First fund has £5,455 to allocate in East Park and £8,182 in Ettingshall. Groups can bid for between £250 and £2,500 each year until 2015, with the money being spent on projects and activities in the local community.
The funding is part of £30 million being made available nationally to fund community projects by the Community Development Foundation in areas that show high levels of deprivation. Communities First is a match-funded programme, which means that every £1 provided in funding must be matched by a similar amount of in-kind donations such as cash, services, free products or volunteer time.
Groups have until the end of June to submit applications for the first round of the scheme. So far, only a few applications have been made – if some of the funding is not allocated, it could be lost, which would be a great shame. Therefore I urge community groups to take advantage of this scheme.
Applications for funding are made to a Community First Panel based in each ward. Guidance notes and application forms are available on the Community First web sites at www.eastparkcommunityfirst.org.uk and www.ettingshallcommunityfirst.org.uk or from Mac McCoig, the East Park and Ettingshall Support Officer, on 01902 551783.