New capital funding from Surrey County Council

New capital funding from Surrey County Council

Surrey County Council has announced a substantial new capital fund of £100 million over 5 years to support community projects. The Fund is in the final stages of design and will be launched later this year. Surrey County Council are asking for representatives from voluntary, community and faith organisations to take part in a series of workshops in August, to help shape how the Fund will be managed.

The following information was provided by Surrey County Council.

Community Projects Fund

“The Community Projects Fund (CPF) is being designed to bring community-led place-making, or place-improving projects to life. It represents a significant opportunity for investment in communities in a meaningful and lasting way. It is being launched in recognition that communities should feel empowered to help shape their local area and builds on the lessons learned from the Council’s previous community grant fund, but aims to be much bolder, and to invest in large community-led projects in a way that will create a real legacy.

The CPF will provide £100m of capital funding to be allocated to community projects over a five-year period. It is intended to support projects put forward by residents, community groups and organisations that meet a set of criteria, designed to ensure the deliverability and sustainability of the proposals put forward. It will specifically provide capital funding – i.e. expenditure relating to an asset such as buildings, equipment, vehicles, public realm rather than cover revenue costs, such as for the running and administration of an organisation. It is intended to be separate to funding for programmes of work where the Council is carrying out its statutory function.

The Fund was already being developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic however it takes on new importance in the context of recovery and supporting the rebuilding of local communities and groups that have been affected.

Co-design workshops

We want to ensure the CPF meets the requirements of accessibility and deliverability for all communities and potential applicants. We want to ensure the fund is a success and communities benefit.

The aim of the co-design workshops are to test the grant criteria and process that has been developed with residents and community representatives to ensure they will enable the Fund to operate successfully and do not exclude any parts of the county or groups in the community from being able to access it. During the workshops participants will be taken through the application process; helping us to identify any potential barriers to accessing the Fund, or parts that can be streamlined or simplified. The workshops are also being designed to identify the level of support those putting bid applications together, and subsequently delivering projects may require.

The workshops are being designed in collaboration with Council officers and undertaken by an external provider who will facilitate the sessions. They will take the form of five remote 90-minute workshops, each with 4-5 participants. Three of the workshops are proposed to include representation from the VCFS. Ideally we’d like to identify a range of VCFS organisations – in terms of skills, scale or focus – who would be willing to participate.

The findings and recommendations from the co-design work will be used to inform any changes to be made to the process and criteria as required prior to the launch of the Fund.”

The workshops will be remote and take place via Zoom on the following dates in August:

  • Thursday 20th 14:00 – 15:30 VCSF groups
  • Monday 24th 14:00 – 15:30 VCSF groups (18:00 – 19:30 Residents)
  • Tuesday 25th 14:00 –  15:30 VCSF groups (18:00 – 19:30 Residents)

If you would like to take part in one of these workshops, please contact matthew.snelling@surreycc.gov.uk as soon as possible.

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