Community projects grant funding applications open

LIPs grant Sedbergh gym
Community schemes supported by LIPs grants over the last four years have included the Sedbergh People's Gym
5 January 2016

Applications are now open for the next round of grants under a scheme that has seen more than £700,000 awarded to community projects over the last four years.

We are welcoming enquiries and applications from groups for Locally Important Projects (LIPs) funding.

LIPs funding can be used to support the delivery of infrastructure such as addition, or extension of, social facilities, improvements to paths, walkways and the local environment.

Since 2013 grants have been awarded to support projects ranging from environmental improvements to new footpaths, play areas and improvements to village halls.

LIPs grants are intended to support our Council Plan priorities on environment, housing, supporting the local economy or health and wellbeing.

Organisations that are eligible to apply for LIPs funding include parish and town council and community organisations.

The LIPs money is allocated through the New Homes Bonus, where the Government matches the council tax raised for new homes and properties brought back into use. Additional funds are also given for each affordable home built.

SLDC decided to use the New Homes Bonus funds to address the needs of local communities and part of the money goes towards LIPs grants.

In the first round of grants in 2013 £80,000 was awarded to seven schemes.

As more new homes have been built in the district the amount of money available for the LIPs scheme has increased each year, with £102,000 awarded in 2014, £235,900 in 2015 and, in the 2016 round, grants totalling £285,000 were awarded to projects as diverse as installing a drainage scheme at a local football club pitch to funding a new footpath near a school, playground improvements and paying for studies to look at ways to alleviate a village’s traffic congestion issues.

This brings the total amount of LIPs grants allocated since 2013 to £701,500, with 56 grants awarded in that time benefitting 27 separate communities across South Lakeland.

Applications for the next round of LIPs grants for are now open.

The LIPs fund can match other sources of funding available to local communities.

LIPs grants fit with our ‘More Local’ commitment to embrace neighbourhood working, engaging with communities and empowering them to deliver on things that matter locally.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, our portfolio holder for Housing and Strategic Growth,said: “LIPs grants provide an opportunity for valuable funding for community projects.

“We made a decision several years ago to use New Homes Bonus funds to help our local communities by providing these grants.

“More than £700,000 of funding has been given out in the last four years and the grants have proved to be a popular and highly effective way to support some really great projects and achieve some real successes.

“I would encourage any community group or parish or town council that is looking for money to help finance a project to look at the LIPs grants.’’

The deadline for applications in this round of LIPs grants is 12 noon on Monday, 13 February 2017.Any applications received after this date won’t be processed.

The Government has not indicated to date that there will be any changes to the availability of New Homes Bonus this year so the council is progressing with the applications process on that basis.

More details about LIPs and the application process is available.