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Ashford Community Amenities Grants

The Community Amenities Grants are aimed at supporting community amenities across the Borough to make improvements to community infrastructure and are made up of two grant streams. 

Funded by UK Government logopowered by Levelling Up

UK Shared Prosperity Fund (Ashford Urban Area): A grant of up to £10,000 for an organisation wishing to make improvements to community facilities such as community halls or playgrounds. 

Rural England Prosperity Fund (Rural Area): A grant of up to £10,000 for an organisation wishing to make improvements to outdoor community facilities such as playing fields or village hall outdoor spaces.

To understand which of the areas you fall into, please consult the Magic Map Application (defra.gov.uk) Magic Map. In the menu on the left hand side please follow 'Administrative Boundaries' and then choose 'Other Administrative Boundaries' and finally choose the 'Rural England Prosperity Fund' option

Outcome of 2023/24 Funding Round

The funding round for 2023/24 recently concluded and eight grants were awarded to organisations across the Borough. A summary of the projects awarded a grant are listed in the table below.

Outcome of 2023/24 Funding Round

Project

Grant Awarded

Purchase of new community hub building

£10,000

Replacement/Refurbished Play Area

£10,000

Replacement/Refurbished Play Area

£10,000

Replacement/Refurbished Play Area

£4,483.25

Purchase of Outdoor Equipment

£3,048.75

Installation of Solar Panels

£10,000

Refurbishment of Community Building

£10,000

Refurbishment of Community Building

£10,000

 

2024/25 Funding Round

The council are running a second round of the Community Amenities Grant Scheme.

Projects must have a start date within the 2024/25 financial year and aim to be delivered in the same year. Match funding is not required in order to apply, however, you must demonstrate how your project is financially viable. You can apply for a Grant using our online application form until 11:59pm on Friday 31 May 2024.

Funding Priorities

We will fund projects that meet at least one of the following criteria in both section A and B. Please note that Community Amenities Grants must meet priority ‘3’ in Section A.

Section A

  1. Reduces greenhouse gas emissions and/or increases bio diversity
  2. Encourages more active and healthier people and communities
  3. Delivers improved facilities for the local community *
  4. Creates opportunities to learn about of participate in local arts, heritage and culture
  5. Provides advice/mentoring for vulnerable people
  6. Creates opportunities for multicultural and/or intergenerational activities

Section B

  1. Increase knowledge and skills
  2. Reduces loneliness and isolation
  3. Improves community engagement
  4. Fostering good relations between communities
  5. Increases personal wellbeing, independence and resilience
  6. Demonstrates value for money

Examples of projects that may be considered could include:

  • Minor repairs and refurbishment of a community hall in the Ashford urban area
  • Installation of energy efficiency measures in a community space in Ashford urban area
  • The landscaping and accessibility improvements to external areas of a village hall in rural parts of the borough
  • Minor repairs or refurbishment of outdoor play equipment in rural areas

Eligibility

To apply, you need to fulfil the following criteria:

 

  • Be a not-for-profit organisation with a formal charitable status OR an unincorporated organisation with a constitution and a formally appointed voluntary management committee OR a parish council
  • Be non-political
  • Operate in Ashford borough and serve borough residents
  • Ensure your service(s), project(s) or facilities are open to any resident in the borough (or have a clear, non-financial justification for targeting or prioritising a client group)
  • Have a bank or building society account in the organisation's name
  • Have relevant insurances in place e.g. public liability insurance, buildings insurance
  • Demonstrate you have relevant safeguards and policies in place i.e. risk assessments, health and safety policy, safeguarding policy
  • Have support for your project from an Ashford Borough Council Ward Councillor
  • Not have unrestricted reserves in excess of 12 months running costs
  • Use the grant to fund capital costs only e.g. buildings, equipment (no signage)
  • Not have already started or completed your project, or replace funds already spent

How to apply

We advise applicants to contact ABC to discuss a proposed project before submitting an application. To apply, please complete our online application form by the deadlines stated. This will include the requirement to evidence a fully costed quote for the works or items Planning Permission where required and recent photos of the facility showing its condition. 

Please note you will need to create an account with us in order to submit an application. Please save your form as you work through it so, if you need to step away from your computer, your form will be saved. You can access your draft form again at anytime by login back into the portal and going to the "draft service requests" section. Once you submit the form, it can be found in the "Service requests" section.

Application and assessment process

Once applications have been submitted, the Grants and Funding team will assess them to ensure they are properly completed and meet all eligibility criteria. You will be contacted if more information or clarification is needed on your application.

If your application meets the scheme requirements and funding priorities, you will be invited to attend the Community Grants Panel in person on 21st March 2024 to discuss your project in more detail and a final decision will be made.  The grant panel will make a decision on whether or not to fund your project based on:

  • Whether the project meets the scheme requirements and funding priorities
  • Direct benefits to users and wider social and economic benefits
  • Value for money
  • A quality service for local people

We will notify you of the decision of the Community Grants Panel within two working days of its meeting. The decision of the Community Grant Panel is final.

Grant offer

If your application is successful, we will send you a grant offer. The grant offer sets out the amount of grant funding approved, purpose of the funding, any additional grant conditions, monitoring and review requirements and the evidence of spend we require.

In signing your grant offer, you accept our standard Terms and Conditions of Funding [docx] 17KB and any additional conditions stated in the offer.

You will also be informed of how you can claim your grant. You have 12 months from the date of the grant offer to claim your grant.

Who to contact for help

If you wish to discuss whether you would be eligible for the scheme before making an application please contact the team using the below details.

Abi Sheppard, Scrutiny and Partnerships Manager

T: 01233 330394

E: grantsandfunding@ashford.gov.uk

Safeguarding 

Ashford Borough Council is required by law to safeguard children and to protect public funds. We may use the information you have provided for the prevention and detection of criminal activity and fraud. We may also share this information with those bodies responsible for auditing or administering funds for these.

 

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