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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

£2m fund approved to improve local communities


Cheshire East Council’s cabinet has approved a scheme to provide funding that will assist communities where new housing developments have been built.

The new homes bonus community fund is an initiative that supports residents to improve their local communities through visible, sustainable projects.

The scheme is designed to achieve positive benefits based on locally-identified needs.  It empowers local communities to engage in delivering specific projects for local people, giving them a voice in determining schemes that can shape and characterise their environment. This could be almost anything from a youth scheme to a highways project or community hub.

The fund, which provides a total of £2m up to 2020, will give local communities an opportunity to present their ideas for projects to ward members and town and parish councils for consideration. The best ideas will go to Cheshire East Council for approval.

The minimum grant figure to be awarded for these projects is £10,000. The project cost has been pitched at that amount as it ensures that the programmes of work approved will be of sufficiently significant prominence and ensure sustainability.

The fund will be split across the borough based on the location of housing developments, allowing communities the opportunity to engage directly in how it should be spent.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “The idea of the new homes bonus is to allow any groups and communities, that are affected by new housing developments, to come forward and tell the council what projects can make a positive difference to their local communities.

“These projects need to be ambitious and must be sustainable projects that will have a significant positive impact on people living immediately in the areas where the developments have been built.

“It’s a very positive scheme, as it allows those that understand the areas where the projects will be undertaken to tell us what support could be provided. I’m looking forward to seeing what plans are put forward that can benefit from this first round of funding.”

Funding released under this scheme will be subject to clear protocols to ensure outcomes are achieved. The council has undertaken a significant review of grant payments and a corporate grants policy will be considered by cabinet next month.

Details of how to apply for a new homes bonus will be published soon. 

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