With government cuts, funding for local projects seems more unlikely but all is not lost. There is still a chance that your village or organisation could find help with funding. Here are five possible ways to get funds that could help your community, rural business or parish council. Below I provide information and links on – LEADER grants (EU Fund for Rural Development), grants from the Community Safety Partnership, Sustainable Communities Fund from the South Downs National Park, Matched Funding, Funding from our LEP and some useful links:
In January this year I wrote about funding for rural communities available from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. It goes under the name ‘LEADER.’ Grants are available to promote the rural economy. The awards have just been made for Sussex, click here to see the article. These grants include:
- Renovation and conversion of a disused farm building into bunkhouse style accommodation for cyclists and walkers using the South Downs Way;
- Forestry equipment to help meet the increasing demand for woodchip for biomass boilers;
- A new website and e-commerce system to improve the customer experience and increase online sales;
- Expansion of a micro-brewery to enable increased production of their specialist craft beers.
In the recent period grants worth almost £153,000 have been awarded! If your village, community, business or organisation want to apply visit the website at www.businesswestsussex.co.uk/leadergrants
The Central Sussex and Sussex Downs & Coastal Plain Local Action Groups (LAGs) have a total of £2.5 million to support projects in rural West Sussex and Lewes District.
Earlier in March this year I wrote about the Community Safety Partnership. It is possible to apply for a grant from this scheme to help fund a local ‘safety’ project in your community or area. Projects could include road safety, buying a defibrillator or crime prevention. I believe funds are still available for this year so it you want to help your community click here or contact me click here
Grants are available from the South Downs National Park under this heading. Any group or other ‘not for profit ‘ organisations which include social enterprise, community interest companies or voluntary organisations can apply for funding if they believe their project is bringing social, environmental, economic or cultural benefits to a community within the National Park. Grants are available up to £10,000. Click here for more information
With the reduction of Government funding for highways and associated footpaths more responsibility falls on parish councils. ESCC operates a ‘matched funding’ scheme. This scheme helps parishes part pay for improvements with the balance coming from the County Council.
County Councils are not the main organisation for funding of road and transport infrastructure any more. The Government are now channelling new infrastructure investment through Local Enterprise Partnerships – the one for our area is Coast to Capital LEP. They say good transport networks are vitally important for a high performing economy. They also say that they want to help people to get to work, to the shops and to school and that they are committed to improving public transport, walking and cycling. I believe local communities should contact our LEP to try and get them to fund schemes in our local area. For more information click here
Useful links for funding (click on the headings for links)
The Institute of Fundraising is the professional membership body for UK fundraising. Their mission is to support fundraisers.
Action in Rural Sussex – contact them for help and advice