The New Homes Bonus community fund is an initiative that has recently been launched by Cheshire East to support residents to improve their local communities through visible, sustainable projects. It reflects the fact that new homes can impact on the services required in an area.
Cheshire East say ".... the scheme is designed to achieve positive benefits based on locally-identified needs. It empowers local communities to engage in delivering specific projects for local people, giving them a voice in determining schemes that can shape and characterise their environment. This could be almost anything from a youth scheme to a highways project or community hub. "
The area of Macclesfield has been awarded £121,739 of grant funding for eligible projects for 2018/19, with the same amount expected for 2019/20.
Detailed applications are sought for sustainable projects in the Macclesfield area (Bollington, Macclesfield, Bosley, Eaton, Gawsworth, Henbury, Higher Hurdsfield, Kettleshulme, Lower Withington, Marton, North Rode, Over Alderley, Pott Shrigley, Rainow, Siddington, Sutton, Macclesfield Forest & Wildboarclough, Wincle) with a minimum value of £10,000.
These can be projects delivered by the Parish Council, or projects delivered in partnership with other parish councils or community groups.
The projects must be delivered before the end of the financial year and must meet the Cheshire East criteria.
There is a deciding panel set up for the Macclesfield area which Cheshire East Council ward members will be part of. The first meeting of NHB Panel for Macclesfield is 25/10/18 at which it is hoped local priorities will be agreed.
So — if you have any ideas for a possible project which would benefit Henbury and meet the criteria below (and especially if you are willing to get involved!), please contact one of your Henbury Parish Councillors to discuss asap. Contact details here
Cheshire East Council's guiding key principles for the scheme are detailed below and Cheshire East Council will provide support to local communities to develop and implement spending plans.
Key principles for fund scheme
- Projects must demonstrate how they will enhance service delivery and provide tangible community benefits
- Applicants must have appropriate governance in place (or have an agreement with their town/parish council that they will facilitate the scheme)
- Minimum allocation is £10,000 although funds may be pooled with neighbouring areas
- Must demonstrate value for money
- Can fund new services or amendment/retention of existing services
- Only to be used for activities which CEC has powers to undertake
- Sustainable — no commitments beyond March 2020 — any unspent monies will be clawed back
Funds cannot be used for
- Administration expenses that fall to town and parish councils
- Retrospective projects
- As a substitute for existing S106 funding
- Used for parties, individuals, fundraising, political or religious activities
- Result in a duplication of service provision
- Community sport schemes Community transport schemes Enhanced community library provision Community allotments or orchards Community energy schemes
- Youth schemes
- Small scale flood protection schemes Homelessness prevention projects Small parks improvements
- Road safety improvements
Criteria for funding
Priority will be given to projects that build community resilience, such as:
- Community-led and managed activities
- Increasing volunteering
- Helping people to help themselves and support each other
- Reducing reliance and demand on mainstream services
- Improving the mental health and wellbeing of residents
- Engaging local people through community groups and their social networks