Headlines: June 22nd, 2001

A new Community Empowerment Fund has been set up to encourage community and voluntary groups to take part in local strategic partnerships and contribute to neighbourhood renewal. Each of the 88 most deprived areas of the UK will get at least ?300,000 over three years. The Government Office for the Region will receive applications and the money will go directly to the group.Local Strategic Partnerships bring together all public services at the local level, together with the business community and voluntary sectors. The Partnerships will take the major decisions about regeneration priorities and the purpose of the Community Empowerment Fund is to put local people at the heart of the local regeneration process.

Successful applicants for the funding will be able to use the money to make communities aware that their involvement in the Local Strategic Partnership is vital to their success and to bring together community and voluntary sectors’ views to identify key issues and develop solutions. The money can also be used to set up effective procedures for choosing community and voluntary sector representatives and to provide people with training and support so that they can participate as equal partners.