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Update on the Community Improvements Fund January 2017

Applications to the Community Improvements Fund for 2016 have now closed, and a decision was taken by David Hodge, Leader of the County Council in November, on the successful projects.

Need funding for something your community will love?

The Community Improvements Fund has been running for four years and can make a project a reality. It's designed to help people turn a great idea into something real that will benefit people in their community. This year there is extra funding available to support projects that will improve local shopping areas/parades.

The types of things you can get funding for are:

  • Disabled access to a venue, premises or row of shops
  • A mini-bus to help elderly people get around
  • Cycle parking or seating by your local shopping parade or community facility

About the fund

The grants are available to cover capital costs for community infrastructure projects. For community improvement projects you can apply for a grant of £10,000 to £30,000, for shopping parade projects the minimum grant is £5,000 (up to £30,000). Ideally bids should be for things that support Surrey County Council's strategic objectives of making sure everyone in Surrey has a great start to life and can live and age well, and that Surrey's economy remains strong and sustainable.A tennis court, children's playground and bike rack, all created through the fund

Here's what you need to do to apply:

1. Develop your idea

  • Speak to people who might want to use the facility you're bidding for
  • Speak to the community to see if they support your idea
  • Get planning permission, if required
  • Talk to the local council, e.g. your local councillor or your area highways team (where relevant)
  • Are there other sources of funding you can bid for or arrange
  • Open a constituted bank account if necessary for your group or partnership

2. Write your bid

  • Tell us about your project, what it will achieve, who will use it, how it will benefit the community
  • Do a breakdown of your finances
  • Show that there is local support for your proposal
  • Speak to the Community Partnerships and Committee Officer for your area

3. Submit your bid on time

  • Bids must be submitted by Friday 15 July 2016
  • Very importantly.... you need to include three quotes for the work that you are proposing - find out more about this in our criteria document.

Key criteria 2016-17

Within your bid you need to show that your project meets each of the criteria below (more detailed information on the criteria can also be found in the attachments at the foot of this webpage).

So your project needs to, in some way:

  • Improve community or local shopping facilities;
  • Have a wide community benefit;
  • Making a real difference to people's lives;
  • Encourage communities to take greater responsibility for local issues and encourage people to work together.

Other things you need to know

The funding is meant to cover capital costs linked to a community infrastructure project. However sometimes a grant, or part of a grant in this case can be used for revenue purposes to help set up an initiative.

If you successfully secure a grant, 12 months after receiving the money you will be asked to show that you have spent the money and how the project has met its intended outcomes.


The process

Applications need to be received by the Community Partnership and Committee Officer who works in your borough/district (see contact details in the criteria and guidance document below) by midday on Friday 15 July 2016.

The bids were assessed against the criteria by an independent panel of Members in early September. Following these sessions the Panel made recommendations to the Leader for decision in October or November 2016.

Successful applicants are expected to be ready to start with their project soon after the decision is made.

Please tell us what you think of the application process through our short survey.

  • Updated: 16 Jan 2017
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