15 December, 2023

Council launches Shared Prosperity Grant Fund for local community groups

Thanet District Council has launched a Shared Prosperity Grant Fund, as part of the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

The details of the grant were revealed at the Community Champions Conference which was hosted by the council at St Augustine’s in Westgate-on-Sea on Wednesday 22 November 2023. The conference was attended by over 150 representatives from local community and voluntary groups, who came together to find out more about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund programme. 

The conference included presentations about the Community Champions Programme, results from the recent Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector (VCSE) survey and the launch of the Shared Prosperity Grants programme. Attendees also heard from inspiring local organisations including Windmill Community Gardens, Kent Coastal Volunteering and Social Enterprise Kent.

Thanet was awarded £1.15m under the UKSPF, which is part of the wider Levelling Up agenda and is intended to reduce inequalities between communities, building a sense of community, restoring local pride and increasing life chances for residents. Thanet District Council plans to use the funding to tackle some of the challenges facing communities in the district, targeting support where it will have the biggest impact. 

Five priority communities have been identified: Cliftonville West, Dane Valley and Margate Central, in Margate; and Newington and Northwood, and Central Harbour and Eastcliff in Ramsgate. The grant funding will be awarded to organisations delivering services to communities within these five areas.

The Thanet Shared Prosperity Grant Fund is made up of two separate grant funds: the Thanet Community Development Grant Programme and the Thanet Community Small Grants Fund. 

Successful organisations will deliver social action projects that restore a sense of community and improve local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost. The aim of the funding is to tackle some of the challenges facing priority communities, with a focus on projects which address poverty and that will have the biggest impact within each priority community.

Thanet Community Development Grant Programme

The development grant programme is aimed at organisations who wish to test and trial new ideas that tackle some of the challenges facing priority communities. Funding will be awarded over two phases, following a competitive process. Fifteen (three for each of the five priority community areas) grants of £1,500 will be awarded during phase one, to develop a project business plan. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 2 January 2024

Phase two grants will be awarded to fund year-long pilot projects. Five grants of between £10,000 and £20,000 will be awarded, one in each of the five priority communities. Applications for funding for phase two will open in February 2024. 

Thanet Community Small Grants Fund

The Community Small Grants Fund will provide one-off grants of between £1,000 and £10,000. The grants will support community organisations to deliver impactful projects that tackle some of the challenges facing priority communities, and will be awarded following a competitive process. The deadline for applications for phase one is Monday 15 January 2024.

The two grant programmes are open to not-for-profit organisations working to achieve charitable and community aims within Thanet. These include registered charities, companies limited by guarantee, constituted community groups or clubs, Community Interest Companies (CICs) and Charitable Incorporated Organisations. 

Cllr Ruth Duckworth, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth at Thanet District Council, said: ”Here in Thanet we are proud of our strong voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. The Community Champions Conference showed how much can be achieved when we work together towards a common goal. I would like to express my thanks to everyone who attended the event, and worked so hard to make the conference such a success. 

“The Shared Prosperity Grant Fund is the next step in identifying the projects that will improve the lives of residents in the five key communities. This funding can make a real difference, and I am looking forward to seeing the innovative projects that are submitted in the first phase.”

Organisations who would like to apply for either scheme should contact sharedprosperity@thanet.gov.uk or visit our Shared Prosperity webpages. The website includes a considerable amount of information, including an FAQs section.

Find out more about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund on the council’s website

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