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An extra 600 grand is being made available in North Yorkshire


7:28am 22nd February 2011
(Updated 9:56am 22nd February 2011)

North Yorkshire County Council is holding out a helping hand to small community groups and voluntary organisations with a grant fund designed to support local initiatives.

The North Yorkshire Reward Grant Fund will provide modest grants, up to a maximum of £5,000, to help with start-up costs for community initiatives, particularly those which address needs arising from the current economic climate including people affected by unemployment.  For example, local residents may want to make an application for skills training, support towards the setting up of a community-owned village shop or other services such as community transport.

The Fund will be managed by the Two Ridings Community Foundation and is open to applications from local voluntary organisations, community groups and small charities with an income of less than £50,000. 

Projects must also meet priorities set out in the North Yorkshire Sustainable Community Strategy which aims to improve services and quality of life for people in North Yorkshire.  Further details about the priorities can be found on the Two Ridings Community Foundation website.

Initially the Fund will be £200,000 and welcomes applications for small grants.  The fund will then be increased by a further £400,000 later in the year to create an endowment to allow grants to be made in perpetuity.

The North Yorkshire Reward Grant Fund represents 10 per cent of a £6 million performance reward grant which the county council and its partners in the North Yorkshire Strategic Partnership (district councils, police, fire, health, voluntary and community organisations) earned from the last government.

In recognition of the vital contribution community and voluntary organisations make to improve the performance of authorities, the county council took the decision to channel ten per cent of the overall performance reward grant into a fund for local initiatives to be managed by the Community Foundation.

John Weighell, North Yorkshire County Council’s leader said:

“We hope this fund will provide a boost for communities during this difficult period and go some way towards getting initiatives off the ground that will improve local support and amenities in the longer term.”

This is the second such agreement between the county council and the Community Foundation. 

In 2009 the county council transferred just over £200,000 to the foundation to create the North Yorkshire Fund and the North Yorkshire Fund Education Travel Award.  This came from charitable funds held by the county council, transferred with the agreement of the Charity Commission, because the authority felt the Foundation could manage these more effectively.  These funds have created grants for initiatives such as providing disabled access in a community building, providing activities and outings for people with learning disabilities, repairs to a village hall roof, printing publicity material for a community event, purchasing equipment for a local brass band.

Anybody interested in making an application to the North Yorkshire Reward Grant Fund should go to the website www.tworidingscommunityfoundation.org.uk or contact the Two Ridings Community Foundation on 01759 377400

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