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New cash chance for Thurrock community groups

A NEW pot of money to help local groups fund projects in their area has been launched by Thurrock Council.

The Community Environmental Development Fund (CEDF) is £250,000, set aside for Thurrock people to apply for use on projects that will improve the environment of the borough or increase safety in communities or on our highways.

The fund was initially suggested as a way of helping residents from the Frost Estate in Corringham with environmental issues but the since then, it’s been opened up more widely to the whole borough.

Speaking today, Wednesday 16 March, Cllr Jane Pothecary, Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for communities, was pleased the pot is now available.

She said: “Let’s be honest, councils have very limited finances and resources to spend on what’s seen as non-statutory services.

“Often, community development and social-cohesion is not at the top of the list of things to protect in times of austerity.

“However, we recognise how important it is for Thurrock and delivered on our promise to make some money available for the community to apply for.”

Talking about the type of projects the council is looking for, Cllr Pothecary said: “applications will have to demonstrate how they support the council’s vision.

“They need to show how they will be financially self-sustainable and how they’re future proof.”

Projects should also clearly show how they link to one of the council’s five priorities: creating a great place for learning and opportunity; encouraging and promoting job creation and economic prosperity; building pride, responsibility and respect; improving health and well-being; and promoting and protecting the borough’s clean and green environment

In addition the projects must meet a community need; improve street-scene; be value for money and achieve long-term benefits; make a positive difference to the community; be sustainable and not require additional ongoing financial commitments; and the group must be able to raise ten per cent of the total capital cost.

She added: “It’s important to remember this is a finite resource – there isn’t an unending pot of money.

“Processes will be in place to ensure the maximum benefit is felt by the largest amount of people.”

Lots of information, including the application form and accompanying guidance is available on the web at thurrock.gov.uk/cedf

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