District Executive approves over £220,000 of Community Grants in South Somerset

SSDC£229,990 of Community grants were approved last week at South Somerset District Council’s (SSDC) Executive committee.

SSDC supports a range of voluntary sector organisations via its Community Grant programme. This helps to deliver council services, as well as supporting groups working in local communities.

The following organisations received Community Grants:

  •       South Somerset Voluntary & Community Action, £74,260
  •       Access for All, £8,000
  •       Voluntary arts organisations – Actiontrack, Take Art, Somerset Art Works and           Somerset Film totalling £18,000
  •       Somerset Rural Youth Project, £8,000
  •       South Somerset Citizens Advice, £121,730

Councillor Ric Pallister, Leader of South Somerset District Council said, “I am delighted that once again the Council has been able to fully support the key voluntary sector organisations that work so hard for our community day in and day out.

“The fact that Youth Services and the Arts, who have suffered the most from funding cuts, are receiving financial support is really important, especially for our rural villages. Testament to how much difference the organisations make, was highlighted last winter as South Somerset Voluntary Community Action stepped up to the task of masterminding and co-ordinating the huge numbers of volunteers from across the UK.  Those volunteers came to Somerset’s aid during and after the major floods; a huge task given the extent of the flooding across the County and the numbers of people forced out of their homes. CAB once again received the highest award and rightly deserved for the work they do supporting people in crisis across the whole of the District”.

Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Culture added, “Officers and Members at South Somerset District Council work hard to provide advice and support to the voluntary sector. We are pleased to support such a range of voluntary sector organisations once again this year”.

SSDC has awarded £374,443 in grants to 84 voluntary sector and community projects in 2013/14. A detailed analysis of 66 projects supported by the Area Community Grants programme showed that the value of these projects totalled £1,279,925. This means that for every £1 invested, £8 of external funding is secured for the voluntary sector and community projects in South Somerset.

Government cuts to some national bodies (e.g. Arts Council, Defra, Legal Services Commission), have had a direct impact on the way in which the voluntary sector is able to access traditional funding options. SSDC works closely with the organisations affected to help them through the transitional period of becoming less dependent on grants and developing other business models, or applying to some of the new funding options.