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Committee approves grant aid allocations for local communities

18 June 2021
Members of Council’s Health and Community Committee this week approved the allocation of over £400,000 in funding for local community groups under two grant aid programmes.
 
Under the Community Support Programme 2021/22 82 applications will benefit from a budget of £214,500, with grants of up to £4,000 awarded to cover core costs or project costs.
 
Within the Good Relations Fund 65 applications were received with a total of 49 applications scoring above the threshold and receiving funding of £187,554. The committee received a full breakdown of the grant aid applications and amounts allocated to each DEA.
 
The allocations are subject to Council receiving Contracts for Funding from the Department for Communities (DfC), Voluntary and Community Division (VCD) and The Executive Office (TEO) for the 2021/22 financial year.
At the meeting Members were also asked to consider the extension of grant aid food support for a further three months to assist local communities in their response to Covid19.
 
It was recommended that the Covid-19 Food and Essential Supplies Transition Fund should continue until September 2021, after concerns were raised by groups, particularly in rural areas, about fully vouching for the expenditure within the programme.
 
The committee received a breakdown of the grant aid applications and amounts allocated to each DEA. The financial allocations are based on a formula based on deprivation, population and rurality.
 
Council’s Director of Health and Community Karen McFarland, also updated members on the allocation of £49,587 from the Department for Communities towards the Neighbourhood Renewal Active Citizenship Through Sport Programme. The Programme includes the delivery of a range of accredited sports and generic coaching courses which will allow local people to deliver and add value to new or existing coaching, physical activity and exercise programmes within the five local Neighbourhood Renewal Areas. Each of the Neighbourhood Renewal Partnerships will develop action plans and identify delivery organisations for the delivery of the programme.
 
Chair of the Committee, Councillor Paul Fleming, welcomed the decisions, stressing the importance of supporting local community organisations. “I want to welcome the approval of this grant aid support which will enable the successful delivery of vital services and projects in community areas right across Derry and Strabane. I am also glad to see that we can facilitate the extension of the Covid-19 Food and Essential Supplies Transition Fund to allow groups to complete the programme to the standard required.
 
“The local community sector has had an invaluable role over the past 15 months and Council is committed to working with our partners to enhance and support local communities, and to achieve the successful delivery of the Local Strategic Growth Plans for Derry and Strabane long into the future.”