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Mendip Council releases £350,000 for local community projects

LOCAL communities throughout Mendip are to benefit from a slice of £350,000 which has been made available by the district council to fund local community projects.

The money is part of the New Homes Bonus grant that the council will use to encourage and support legacy projects across the district.

Applications to the Local Legacy Fund, which has received £250,000 of funding, are for projects costing over £10,000 and can come from a range of groups – community and voluntary organisations, parish and town councils, village halls, social interest groups and community interest businesses.

Projects need to meet at least one of the council’s strategic priorities and either: · Add to the health and wellbeing of the community · Create educational, training or work opportunities for the community · Improve the quality of life of the community.

Applications are open now and the first awards are due to be made in the summer. Application packs, outlining the criteria that must be met, are available now from the council’s website – www. Organisations can apply online or by post by 15th April 2013.

The intention is to make the application process as simple as possible, while ensuring that money distributed through the fund is properly managed and accounted for. Applicants will have to make a business case and also show where, if necessary, additional funding would come from for their proposed project.

In addition, on 11th February Cabinet agreed to release an additional £100,000 to enable the council to launch its Community Environment Fund, which will give £2,000 over two years to each Mendip District councillor to fund community projects in their local ward.

There are criteria outlining how the money can be spent, with funds having to go towards schemes which improve the local environment and benefit local residents within the ward.

Tracy Aarons, corporate manager for built environment said, “The aim of the Local Legacy and Community Environment Funds are to support projects that meet the council’s priorities and which will leave a lasting legacy that will benefit the residents of Mendip.

“Applications are now open and we are expecting a huge amount of interest from communities throughout Mendip.”

Harvey Siggs, leader of Mendip District Council said, “The release of £350,000 for legacy and community projects underlines Mendip District Council’s commitment to supporting local communities throughout the district, even in such difficult economic times.

“I’m confident that this funding will lead to the development of a wide range of valuable and lasting community projects which will really benefit local people and improve the quality of life for people across Mendip.”

For more information on applying for funding contact Matthew Cheney on 01749 341569 or matthew. cheney@mendip.