Headlines: August 6th, 2004

Voluntary and community organisations with projects aimed at creating cleaner, safer and greener communities are invited to apply for funding from the 2.5 million pounds Special Grants Programme. The new round of funding will support innovative projects that seek to improve the quality of life in towns and cities as well as to share evidence of what works in quality improvement.The Special Grants Programme funds a diverse range of projects including community groups working to improve green spaces, improving the quality of credit unions in deprived areas and creating ‘zero carbon and zero waste’ communities. There will also be funds for encouraging faith organisations to participate in neighbourhood renewal, for transforming disused industrial buildings into living and working spaces and for increasing opportunities for community involvement among young people.

Phil Hope, Minister in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said: “Local groups are often the driving force in transforming their neighbourhoods to make them places where people are proud to live. The Government is committed to creating cleaner, safer, greener communities and to working in partnership to achieve this.”

Grants will be awarded following a competitive bidding process. Details of how to apply are available at http://www.odpm.gov.uk/specialgrantsprogramme