Investing in Communities Fund launched this week

The Investing in Communities Fund aims to empower communities enabling them to tackle poverty, inequality and disadvantage on their own terms, in turn supporting inclusive growth.

The fund promotes a more responsive, community-led, place-based approach. One that is flexible and can adapt to existing and emerging community issues, circumstances and priorities.

It supports a range of activity through a staged funding approach, enabling communities to:

  • build community capacity and strengthen community anchor organisations
  • better understand and identify their local aspirations and priorities
  • increase active inclusion and develop opportunities for enhanced engagement for groups who are more vulnerable and harder to reach
  • create local plans and proposals in collaboration with partners
  • prioritise local budgets and access funds
  • develop local assets, services and projects that respond to the needs of the people in their communities
  • deliver community-led solutions that tackle priorities that matter most to communities; and/or
  • develop local interventions which offer opportunities and pathways for social and community integration.

They can then control more of their own affairs and take forward more of the activities they have identified as being vital to the success of their place.

The fund aims to encourage a more holistic response in tackling poverty, inequality and disadvantage. It does this by recognising that such approaches to the design of projects and services, which are informed by lived experience and are person centred, can deliver multiple positive outcomes.  The fund will help meet targets set out in the child poverty delivery plan.

A key component of the new Investing in Communities Fund is the availability of multi-year awards for those who wish to apply for funding over more than one year, to provide essential stability for community-led activity.

This recognises that longer term planning and support are needed to help communities unlock the complex interwoven issues which grip people and communities in poverty, experiencing disadvantage, and inequality. The flexible design of the fund further aims to support communities by reducing the administrative burden of applying to multiple funds.

Applications are expected to demonstrate the Place Principle, which asks for a more joined up collaborative approach to services and assets within a place to achieve better outcomes for people and communities.

The fund is now open to applications and will close on 14 June 2019.