Grants available for council tenants

Published: Tue 23rd August, 2022

  • Photo shows Janice Wright, a resident of Riversdale Court retirement housing in Birstall, with Councillor James Poland and fellow residents enjoying the new garden furniture.
    Photo shows Janice Wright, a resident of Riversdale Court retirement housing in Birstall, with Councillor James Poland and fellow residents enjoying the new garden furniture.

Council tenants are being urged to apply for grants which can be used to help improve communal facilities and fund events.

Charnwood Borough Council runs three different grant schemes which aim to bring communities together and improve areas for tenants.

The Community Initiative Fund is open to tenants for financial help towards the cost of arranging an event, activity or initiative in your local community.

You can apply for up to £250 towards the cost of a one-day event and up to £500 towards the cost of a longer-term initiative.

The events should look to be inclusive and bring communities together.

Previous grants have assisted in taking children to the seaside and a pantomime who would not usually have the opportunity to go and enabled older people to go on trips to reduce social isolation.

The Tenant Bids Fund is for tenants and leaseholders who identify a project which will improve the communities they live in and benefit all residents of sheltered courts or other council properties in a particular area, and not just one individual tenant.

Ideas for bids can include landscaping or improved lighting for a particular area.

Janice Wright, a resident of Riversdale Court retirement housing in Birstall, used her bid to improve the communal garden at her housing complex by purchasing new furniture for the residents to enjoy.

Janice said: “The furniture has allowed my fellow residents and me to enjoy the garden more, especially this summer when the weather has been so good.

“I am happy that I was able to put forward a successful tenant bid, and would recommend other tenants who have a project or idea to apply.”

The Bids Fund is financed from tenants’ rent money and so while leaseholders can suggest a bid there must be support from tenants.

The Council also operates the EEM Community Donation Fund. EEM is a non-profit organisation that the Council sometimes uses to procure services. As part of the arrangement, EEM kindly donates a share of its profits for the Council to use for community projects.

Community groups or projects that work or aim to improve the community where Charnwood council tenants live can bid for funding. Decisions on which projects will be funded are decided by ballot through the Charnwood Housing Residents’ Forum (CHRF).

A beneficiary of the fund was the Ashby Road Estates Community Centre - commonly known as The Hut – in Loughborough. The team at The Hut secured funds through the EEM fund and other sources to refurbish the building.

Chairman of the Ashby Road Estates Community Association, Craig Jordan, said: “The EEM fund has enabled the centre to have a local contractor come in and do some substantial works on our main hall, as well as other building improvements.

“Our centre is now looking fresh and inviting, and we have received great feedback from all the local community groups who are using the Hut on a regular basis.”

Councillor James Poland, lead member for public housing at Charnwood Borough Council, said: “These grants are a fantastic opportunity for council tenants who would like to help their community by funding an event or making improvements to an area or building that is being used by local residents.

“These initiatives can help bring communities closer and can make a huge difference to residents’ wellbeing in these difficult times.

“It is always a rewarding experience to see the results of these grants, so I would urge any tenants who have a project in mind to apply.”

For more information on all grants available to council tenants, contact the customer engagement team at involvement@charnwood.gov.uk or 01509 634955.

Find out more about how the council engages with tenants at www.charnwood.gov.uk/engagement.