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Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston Port Fund community grant scheme launched

A community grant scheme has been launched this week to support local organisations in Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston by helping them improve the spaces they operate from, the equipment they use and the services they offer.

The Community Facilities Grant Scheme is offering a total of £315,000 to community groups through a competitive grant scheme. It is part of the £1m Port Communities Resilience Fund (PCRF), which was approved by Bristol City Council’s Cabinet last month and is made up from profits gained through the sale of the Port Company in 2015.

Councillors, local residents and organisations met in November 2016 to help develop priorities for where the money should be spent within their ward and as a result three themes were agreed:

• Jobs and enterprise
• Improving community facilities
• Thriving high streets

The Community Facilities Grant Scheme is designed to support the second theme and will provide grants between £10,000 and £100,000 to support improvements to buildings or to buy equipment. Applications for funding have now opened and applications are being invited from community groups based in or offering services in the Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston, Sea Mills/Coombe Dingle and Shirehampton areas. The deadline for bids is Friday 4 December at 5pm.

Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This is a great opportunity to reinvest the money from the sale of the Port back in to the community where it is based. We hope to be able to use this money to make better resources for local people to support long term growth in the community. I hope that local organisations will use this fund to make small changes to their buildings to make sure they are able to stay with us long into the future whilst also encouraging more outside investment to the area.”

Applicants will be asked to show how their chosen projects will help strengthen them for the future and they’ll be required to double any investment they receive to show that they are able to seek new sources of funding.

Grants from the fund are only for improvements to physical assets such as buildings or equipment. It cannot be used to pay for salaries or ongoing running costs.

To help community groups apply for funding the council will be holding three information events. These events are open to any organisation interested in bidding for the Community Facilities Grant fund. 

The events are free to attend but space is limited so organisations are asked to sign up in advance on Eventbrite.

Avonmouth - Tuesday 19 September 6.30pm – 8.30pm Avonmouth Community Centre, 257 Avonmouth Rd, Bristol, BS11 9EN. www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pcrf-community-facilities-grant-scheme-information-event-tickets-37485390813

Lawrence Weston -Thursday 21 September 2pm – 4pm Lawrence Weston Baptist Church, 117-119 Long Cross, Lawrence Weston, BS11 0LT. www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pcrf-community-facilities-grant-scheme-information-event-tickets-37485387804

Shirehampton - Wednesday 27 September 6.30pm – 8.30pm Tithe Barn, Shirehampton Rd, Bristol, BS11 0DW. www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pcrf-community-facilities-grant-scheme-information-event-tickets-37485352699

The Jobs and Enterprise theme will fund improvements to local facilities to provide better access to people in Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston, which includes:
• Job search support
• Careers information advice and guidance
• Training and skills development
• Advice and support for business start-ups, including social enterprise
• Advice and support for early stage / growing businesses
• Equipment and technology for new digital and creative businesses.

The Thriving High Streets theme will fund physical improvements to the ward’s four main high streets/shopping areas, including pavements, new and improved seating, litter bins and recycling facilities, improved signage, greenery and CCTV.

Guidance on how to apply to the Community Facilities Grant Scheme is on Bristol City Council’s website at: bristol.gov.uk/pcrfgrants. Updates will be published on this webpage.

For initial information on the Port Communities Resilience Fund – including requesting the guidance pack for the Community Facilities Grant Scheme, email PCRF@bristol.gov.uk.