Community chest funds working well

What goes up must come down - The Alnwick Christmas Lights committee were busy at the weekend taking down their festive display of lights. They are seen here with their cherry picker dismantling the lights in Fenkle Street.
What goes up must come down - The Alnwick Christmas Lights committee were busy at the weekend taking down their festive display of lights. They are seen here with their cherry picker dismantling the lights in Fenkle Street.

More than 60 voluntary and community groups in north Northumberland received grants last year from the county council’s Community Chest.

The Community Chest Scheme is a Northumberland County Council initiative to provide access to funding support to deliver priority activities appropriate to each of the three council administrative areas.

The budget for 2012/13, the fourth year in operation, was £310,000 including an amount of £40,000 set aside for applications for county-wide projects.

During the year, there were 82 applications in the north area, of which 63 received grants of between £200 and £4,000.

Groups receiving money covered a wide range of activites including sport, music, art, nature, disability groups as well as community events.

The total cost of all of the projects funded was £681,052, with £591,052 of additional leverage required at the application stage.

The aims of the Community Chest are to support voluntary and community groups or organisation to deliver services which will make an impact in the relevant area, to support one-off initiatives considered valuable to the area, that were unable to secure mainstream funding from the council or other service providers, to provide an easily-accessible process of funding support.

The scheme is open to voluntary, community and not-for-profit groups or organisations (including charities) that are based in, or predominantly serve Northumberland.

Since 2009, the county council has received 1,260 applications for grant funding through the Community Chest.

Of these, 836 received funding which has brought in more than £9million in match funding to Northumberland against expenditure of £1.3million over four years of community-chest funding.

A report to Monday’s north area committee concluded that the scheme is still working well, although there are still improvements to be made in terms of publicising the chest and providing a database by actegory.