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New grant established to distribute funding for community projects

The Council will establish a ‘Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Grant’ scheme to deliver £4.3m Shared Prosperity Funding for community projects – and will invite local groups and third sector organisations to apply in a phased approach. 

At their meeting on Monday, January 23, Cabinet Members considered how the Council will provide a community grant scheme via its local allocation from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund. The Shared Prosperity Fund has been made available to all councils, to be allocated by March 31, 2025.

Officers proposed to establish a Community Grant which invites applications in a competitive, open and transparent process – which Cabinet agreed to on Monday. The grant will include revenue funding and a small amount of capital funding to distribute to eligible projects.

The community grant scheme will focus on supporting communities to reduce the cost of living (including energy efficiency), and to combat fuel poverty or climate change.

Some of the guiding principles for applications include that the projects must benefit the community as a whole; maximise their impact and deliverability via collaborative working; and demonstrate an alignment to local and national strategic plans. They should also seek additional match funding opportunities wherever possible.

A two-phased approach to distribute the grant is now agreed – the first phase will accept applications seeking revenue funding in February 2023. These will be awards for lower level projects between £1,000 and £14,999 in value, which will need to be delivered by March 31, 2023.

The second phase will have two windows for applications – March and April 2023, and January and February 2024. It will allocate the remainder of the Community Grant funding, for projects to be delivered by March 31, 2025.

Councillor Bob Harris, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “The Council identified £4.3m funding from its overall Shared Prosperity Fund allocation for supporting communities, and Cabinet has now agreed to create a new Community Grant at the centre of this process. Local groups, including third sector organisations, will be able to apply for project funding for consideration by the Council. The Grant will offer up to £14,999 at the lower level, and up to £200,000 at the higher level.

“Focus will be placed on projects aiming to reduce the cost of living, improve energy efficiency, reduce climate change or tackle fuel poverty. Successful applications must demonstrate how a positive community outcome will be achieved. I’m looking forward to the first applications being received in phase one, which will open in February 2023. Phase two will then follow during March, with a final window for applications during early 2024.

“During Monday’s meeting, Cabinet discussed the recommendation of officers to establish a new grant. Members agreed that inviting applications to a new Community Grant is a better, more transparent approach to this process – which will enable us to distribute the Fund and work with local groups in a more managed way.

“This is an exciting opportunity for local groups to access significant funding for the benefit of their communities. The Council will shortly communicate with the public about how to submit a Community Grant project application during phase one, as well as further details about the application criteria.”

The Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Grant has received £4.3 million from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Find out more about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund here.

Posted on 26/01/2023