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A £300,000 grant program designed to support community groups and third-sector organisations is being launched this week (4 September).
The Community Empowerment Fund (part of the broader Shared Prosperity Fund or SPF) is a community capacity-building initiative that aims to boost local projects across the Falkirk area.
Falkirk Council will administer the scheme and offer support to groups to apply for funding in three areas:
Start-up Grants
Non-constituted groups, new groups, or those in the formation of can apply for this grant. The purpose is to assist with initial startup costs, such as bank account setup, hall hire, and developing a constitution. Maximum Award: £2,000.
Small Grant
Constituted groups seeking support for sustaining or developing their group/service can apply for this grant. It helps overcome barriers to growth and development. Maximum Award: £8,000.
Community Asset Transfer (CAT) Grant
Groups undergoing or planning to begin the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process can apply for this grant. It covers costs associated with CAT, such as legal fees and expert advice. Maximum Award: £12,500.
Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “This is a great opportunity for our groups and third sector organisations to benefit from this funding and will benefit less established or confident groups to move forward and help boost support their communities locally.
"The Community Empowerment Fund is not just about monetary support; it's also a comprehensive effort to foster growth, strengthen partnerships, and cultivate resilience within our communities.
“We’re keen to see as many applications come forward as possible, especially from those groups thinking about a potential asset transfer and for them to access the support this programme can provide.”
To find out more about eligibility for the scheme and to make an application, visit the dedicated webpage.
Application forms will also be available from libraries and community centres.
Once submitted, it is expected that a decision will be made within eight weeks by an Approvals Panel, comprising representatives from the Community Planning Partnership, Falkirk Council, and the Voluntary Sector.
Successful recipients will be invited to participate in capacity-building activities alongside Falkirk Council and CVS Falkirk. This collaborative effort aims to boost each project's potential, ensuring long-term viability and growth.
The fund is open until March 2025.