South Kesteven District Council unites with voluntary service to determine £300,000 community fund recipients

SKDC and LCVS will work together to determine which local groups will receive grants through the council's community fund.
SKDC and LCVS will work together to determine which local groups will receive grants through the council's community fund.

The criteria for allocating grants to local causes as part of a £300,000 community fund, has been approved by South Kesteven District Council’s cabinet.

The creation of a community fund was first announced in March as part of the council’s 2015/16 budget. It aims to offer financial assistance to local projects and events that benefit South Kesteven residents.

As advised by the resources and communities policy development group (PDG), the administration of the community fund will be undertaken by the Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS), who will recommend to the council whether or not applications should be granted.

A panel of councillors comprising the chair, or in their absence vice-chairs of the relevant PDGs, alongside an SKDC officer, will then meet as and when needed to make the final decision on whether applicants receive a grant from the community fund. Their decision will take into account the LCVS’ recommendations and information submitted in the applications.

It was also agreed during Monday’s cabinet meeting that any money from the fund which remains unusued at the end of the financial year will continue to roll over into successive years until all the fund has been allocated.

Examples of the type of projects that the community fund will support include provision of outdoor facilities, work to community buildings, enterprise projects that generate ongoing revenue within the community, local events, and organisations and social enterprises that support communities.

Leader of SKDC, Coun Bob Adams, said: “The community fund is a fantastic scheme which will enable groups to get on with the important work needed by local communities.”

David Fannin, LCVS chief executive, said: “The South Kesteven District Council Community Fund has the potential to make a world of difference to so many communities, enabling capital investments into projects that really affect and change lives.

“LCVS is proud to be working alongside the council to ensure these funds are distributed in a way that ensures they make the biggest possible impact.”

Groups will be able to apply for grants from the community fund by the end of the month. Information including the application forms will be posted online at www.southkesteven.gov.uk

The criteria for the community fund is as follows:

* Applications will be accepted from community and voluntary groups, parish and town councils, charities and social enterprises to deliver projects that benefit communities within the South Kesteven District. Applications from individuals will not be accepted.

* The award must be used as an enabler to access other sources of funding and needs to be evidenced accordingly.

* Organisations that are applying must have their own constitution/articles of association (unless a parish council) and bank account, with at least two unrelated signatories.

* Applications will be assessed and determined by the established panel.

* Bids would be invited for a specified period to enable bids to be considered within a timely manner.

* Any qualified and/or eligible organisation whose programmes or activities directly benefit the South Kesteven community and underpin the Council’s priorities can apply for a award, the contribution must be specifically earmarked for local programmes and activities, and must be physically located within the district of South Kesteven.

* Awards are available for community projects and events that benefit the residents of communities within the South Kesteven District. It is anticipated that the average level of award that is to be granted will be between £2,000 - £3,000 per award. In any event, awards towards the maximum figure will require maximum levels of other external sources of funding and demonstrate community need and support.

* It is proposed that groups and organisations must demonstrate how their project or event will deliver wide benefit, contributing to the sustainaility, vitality and well being of South Kesteven’s communities.

* Applications are invited to the South Kesteven Community Fund under the following categories: Community Amenities, Community Buildings, Community Enterprise, Community Events, Supporting Communities.

* Up to a maximum of 80% of total costs can be applied for and there is a requirement for 20% from other sources of external funding for all project categories. This can be made up of own cash contributions, donations, awards and sponsorship and a maximum of 10% can be in-kind volunteer time or materials.

* The value of volunteer in-kind time is calculated at the average salary rate for the district.

* Applications can only be submitted accompanied by written quotes or estimates. A minimum of two estimate or quote must be submitted for each item of expenditure between £50 - £2,500, and three for each item over £2,500. All quotations and estimates must be less than six months old.

* Funding will be delivered at 75% of total award upfront of project/event commencement and a further 25% on completion of project/event.

* This award is a ring-fenced award and cannot be used to fund other than the approved expenditure.

* All incurred expenditure must be evidenced and approved by the Council (by way of providing invoices, timesheets etc)