Community Initiative Fund – Essex Association of Local Councils

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Community Initiative Fund – Essex Association of Local Councils

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Essex Community Initiatives Fund re-opens
Essex’s Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) to help individuals, groups and voluntary organisations boost their local community reopens today (Monday 7 June).The £350,000 fund offers two levels of grant:

  • £300,000 is for grants up to £10,000 towards capital or revenue projects that benefit the wider community
  • £50,000 is for micro grants up to £500 to help grassroots groups reduce social isolation, improve wellbeing or help communities connect.

It is administered by Essex Association of Local Councils on behalf of Essex County Council. Applications are invited from town and parish councils, community groups, social enterprises or individuals in the Essex County Council area.

Projects should have community backing and show that they help meet a real community need. They could be to:

  • create, buy or develop new community assets​
  • enhance existing community assets
  • enhance or develop initiatives that strengthen a community, including cultural initiatives.

Since the CIF was first launched by Essex County Council in April 2019 its large grants have funded 113 projects.  Examples include:

  • £3,152 to Berden Parish Council, Uttlesford for a children’s playground (19/20)
  • £5,000 to 1st Broomfield Scout Group, Chelmsford towards electrical services and installing a bouldering wall (20/21)
  • £10,000 to Dengie Project Trust, Maldon to help replace their minibus (19/20)
  • £2,000 to Essex Multicultural Activities Network to help reduce isolation and promote good mental health (20/21)
  • £10,000 to Helping Hands Essex to help buy an IT system to manage substance misuse cases (19/20)
  • £2,914 to Kids Inspire for their All Ears project with year 12 and 13 students (19/20)
  • £7,000 for Langham Community Centre, Colchester to install heating and air conditioning (19/20)
  • £1,200 to upgrade practice facilities at Navestock Cricket Club, Brentwood (20/21)
  • £4,000 to Organic Countryside CIC to help restore Limefield Pit Nature Reserve at Little Walden, Uttlesford (20/21)
  • £5,000 for urgent hall improvements at Ridgewell Village Hall, Braintree (19/20)
  • £7,000 to Roydon Parish Council, Epping Forest, for a handy/grounds person (20/21)
  • £2,500 to St Marks Food Drop In, Rochford for their Help in the Community project (20/21)
  • £5,000 to South Hanningfield Village Hall, Chelmsford to install an accessible toilet (19/20)
  • £10,000 to help upgrade heating and insulation at Tendring Village Hall (20/21).

Cllr Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Communities said: “Over the last year and more we have seen how creative and resilient our communities and local organisations are. Now, we are by their side as they recover and renew. The Community Initiatives Fund is there to help groups and communities to develop and realise their vision, whether that’s something like improving a community centre or play area, creating opportunities for people to come together, strengthening connections within the community, or increasing an organisation’s capacity to help more people.”

Peter Davey, Chairman of EALC said, “The Essex Association of Local Councils is proud to have been asked to administer the grant scheme on behalf of Essex County Council.  The Community Initiatives Fund provides vital funding for deserving organisations and their community projects, well-being initiatives and other important improvement schemes. The EALC has well established links to many Essex organisations and is ideally positioned to triage applications, address the financial standing of applicants, create and administer the CIF funding panel and ensure funds are released in a timely manner to successful applicants.  As Chairman of the CIF funding panel, I am honoured to be part of this important initiative.”

Projects are excluded in Southend and Thurrock. The deadline for expressions of interest is 5 July and full applications must be in by 15 August. For more information visit Community Initiative Fund ( or contact the Funding Officer Louise Gambardella

Expressions of Interest Closing Date Monday 5th July 2021 – By 17:00
Full Applications Closing Date Sunday 15th August 2021 – By 23:59


RRAVS | Rayleigh and Rochford District Association for Voluntary Service

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