SSDC update: Community grant opportunities for your environmental projects
South Somerset District Council has a long tradition of supporting communities, local voluntary groups and the wider community sector. One of the ways this is enabled is through the Community Grants programme for projects such as community transport, improving recreational facilities, community halls and many more schemes that enhance the lives of the local community.
SSDC have now extended the Community Grants scheme to support local environment initiatives. Last year the Council acknowledged the climate emergency and are now committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. This includes supporting environmental progression for communities across the district to develop existing, and kick start new exciting environmental projects.
This new extension to the existing community grants scheme will place environmental progression at its core, offering funding for communities to inspire environmental projects across South Somerset’s local landscape. We’ve seen significant changes in our communities over the past three months and this is an excellent opportunity to ensure the changes are positive with novel projects championing sustainability, carbon neutrality and biodiversity.
The fund will cover up to 50% of the project costs and you will need support from your Parish Council. Applications in the range of £100 to £1,000 will be reviewed by SSDC and your Ward Member, any applications for more than £1,000 are decided by your SSDC Area Committee with a maximum grant of £12,500. Applications can be made at any time throughout the year, but revenue funding is limited so do apply in good time, especially if you have seasonal deadlines to meet.
With the range of funding available, all forms of projects can benefit, from smaller funding projects such as a community orchard, building a bat hotel, or even paying for a regular meeting space where your group can meet to discuss and implement your projects. Larger projects could be for schemes such as a local electric vehicle charging points, energy efficiency for your community hall, wild-flower meadow creation or even buying an acre of land. This new funding will give your community the opportunity to take a great eco idea and see it through to fruition.
Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing Cllr Mike Best said “the SSDC community grants programme has supported many local projects over the years and invests in schemes that are developed by, and for, all our communities. We have always considered applications for environmental focused projects, but now more than ever feel they should be encouraged. This will also serve as a reminder to all potential applicants that our community fund is here to support a huge variety of community projects to enhance where we live”
Portfolio Holder for the Environment Cllr Sarah Dyke said “Lockdown has been a challenging time for everyone and yet in some spaces the environment has been given the opportunity to flourish. Air quality has improved and areas of grass left to grow through the spring have created new habitats for wildlife and pollinators. By re-launching our community grants scheme with an enhanced environmental component we hope to capture this momentum and support our communities to deliver more positive environmental outcomes post Covid-19 and build a better environment in South Somerset for the future”.
We’re really looking forward to hearing about your great community eco ideas! If you would like to speak to someone about our grants programme you can email [email protected]
You can also visit our website and find additional information on how to apply:https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/your-council/your-council-plan-and-strategies/communities/grants-and-other-support-for-the-voluntary-and-community-sector/