Community First

Community First is an £80m Government-funded initiative that will run for 4 years until March 2015. The programme will help communities come together to identify their strengths and local priorities in order to plan for their future and become more resilient. It will fund both new and existing community groups.

The fund is managed by the Community Development Foundation and they have identified deprived areas throughout England and Wales. There are 9 wards in Wolverhampton that are to receive the funding and access to grants will be through a Community First Panel set up in each ward comprising 4-8 people who live or work in the ward, ie representatives from the community, local charities or businesses and local councillors. The grants are to be match funded, but the match funding can be in kind such as volunteers’ time.
Each Community First Panel will establish a set of priorities and a plan of action, and will consider and agree applications for the funding of local projects with a value between £250 and £2,500. In addition, each Panel must set up a unique web site to show what the priorities are and show the work that they are doing. They must also promote the Endowment Match Challenge which is a scheme to encourage donations to a fund for use by communities. The Government will match every £1 raised with an additional 50p.
All the Wolverhampton Wards involved now have Panels in place and are working towards setting up their web sites. Panels will soon be open for business and requesting bids for funds. For more information on Community First, please contact Mac on 01902 551783 or go to www.cdf.org.uk/web/guest/community-first
 

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