Community groups urged to apply for Government cash

John Denham MP has urged local and community groups to apply for their share of the Government's Ł130million Grassroots Grants scheme.

The Labour MP, who represents Southampton Itchen, said: “Whether it's helping local clubs get hold of new kit, coaching new volunteers or simply giving a community space a fresh lick of paint, Grassroots Grants aim to make a real and immediate difference to the work of any small and local community groups with annual incomes below Ł20,000.   The programme, funded by the Office of The Third Sector in the Cabinet Office and administered by the Community Development Foundation, offers grants of between Ł250 and Ł5,000 to support activities that lie right at the heart of our local communities.”

To keep the process as simple and easy as possible for applicants, the money is being distributed directly through local funders.  In Southampton the chosen funder organisation is the Hampshire and IOW Community Foundation whose phone number 01256 776101.

Local, regional and national businesses are also invited to get involved through investing in the scheme's innovative endowment match challenge; the first of its kind in England.

Within the programme, the Government has set aside a Ł50million pot from which it will match endowment investments from businesses. This offers businesses the chance to contribute directly to supporting and sustaining the communities in which they operate.

John Denham said: “I urge local leaders and businesses to make an investment in the future of their community by contributing to the new endowment funds. Every penny that goes in will return a much greater value, particularly as donations will also be eligible for Gift Aid."

The City Council’s Community Chest also offers grant funding for community groups. The closing dates for applications are at the end of September, January and May. For more information phone 023 8083 4067 or visit

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