Cheshire East Council is to provide an extra £30,000 to fund First World War commemorations – and a further £50,000 to boost community grants for local projects.
It comes after effective and robust management of budgets identified a one-off extra pot of cash from reserves.
The Council has already provided £100,000 to fund the restoration and refurbishment of First World War memorials across the Borough.
Now parish and town councils will also be able to apply for a slice of the First World War commemoration events fund.
The upper limits on general community grants are also to increase, as a one-off for this year (2014/15), to up to £1,000 for events and activities and up to £5,000 for facilities. Previously, the limits were £250 for events, £500 for activities and £3,000 for facilities.
The Council is urging community groups to apply for the increased grants in next round of applications – which has a deadline of June 27. Further rounds of grants will also be held in September and December.
Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is brilliant news and should give a real boost to communities across Cheshire East – and in particular for events to commemorate the First World War, as we approach the centenary of the outbreak of that cataclysmic conflict in August 1914.
“I am delighted that this Council has been able to substantially increase the pot for community grants and find another £30,000 for commemoration events on top of the £100,000 already committed to fund repairs and refurbishment of our important local community monuments to our war dead.
“The original £100,000 funding pot has already been used to help renovate and spruce up 11 war memorials. Now even more are set to benefit, as this scheme will be open to applications again until June 27.”
Council Leader Michael Jones announced the creation of the £100,000 fund at a meeting of full Council last December.
The Council’s assets team is also completing separately-funded work on the 13 Cheshire East-owned war memorials across the Borough to ensure that they are in the best condition that they could be for this important commemoration period.
Cllr Brown added: “I would urge groups and local councils to put in grant applications as soon as possible to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.”
Cheshire East Council gave general community grants totalling £96,000 in 2013/14 helping fund projects worth more than £800,000 to local communities.
For more information about applying for the new grant funding, visit the Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk and enter ‘community grants’ or ‘war memorials’ in the search text box.
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Council’s partnership support manager, Tina Jones, on 01270 685811.