DEMAND outstripped supply when it came to bids for government funding for projects in Stratford district.
Just 37 out of 59 applications for a funding boost from the government’s Shared Prosperity Fund and the Rural England Prosperity Fund were given the go-ahead by members of Stratford District Council’s Cabinet at a meeting on Monday (October 2) as there was simply not enough cash available.
Local community groups and organisations were invited to bid for the SPF and REPF funding.
A total of 59 applications were received, with a combined project total of £2,151,250 against £1,251,617.76 of funding available. All applications went through a rigorous five-stage assessment, to reach the final projects to be selected for approval.
SDC leader Coun Susan Juned said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of applications we received from community groups and organisations, nevertheless, a whole host of projects across the district are set to benefit from this funding.
“The projects that we are funding are wide-ranging from business support and growth to community infrastructure projects – from supporting the Stratford Time Bank in Upper Lighthorne to expanding free activity programmes with Stour Health and Wellbeing Partnership.
“Clearly, demand has outstripped supply, and some organisations and groups may be disappointed, but I would urge then to get in touch with our team to help strengthen future applications and better their chances of securing future funding. Having been successful in securing this funding for projects, we want as many of our community groups and organisations to benefit from this.
“This funding stream enables the district council to work with our partner organisations to achieve positive outcomes and benefits for the district and supporting a programme of business support through different delivery partners.”
Funding was provided for community and neighbourhood infrastructure projects, the creation and improvement of green spaces, support for active travel enhancements, impactful volunteering or social action projects, local sports facilities, supporting the visitor economy, supporting product and service development, and strengthening local entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Successful bids included £40,750 to Stratford Sports Club Ltd towards the future development of the club, £19,967 to Shakespeare’s England Ltd for a full high level destination marketing plan, £19,500 to Lizzie’s ironing and laundry service for low carbon equipment and £46,080 to Ragley Meats Ltd towards launching a venison product locally and purchasing a deer larder.