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Funding boost for community infrastructure

Town and parish councils and not-for-profit community groups in South Oxfordshire can now bid for their share in £750,000 of new funding to improve or deliver new community amenities.

The Community Infrastructure Levy Pilot Grant Fund will give organisations a financial boost of between £75,000 to £250,000 per project for new or expanded facilities, including community centres, sports and cultural facilities, open spaces, play areas, and more, which are needed as a direct result of development.

The first grant fund of its kind for South Oxfordshire District Council, it’s funded by contributions from developers for building new homes in the district, known as the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Councillor Pieter-Paul Barker, cabinet member for finance and property assets at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We’re committed to providing infrastructure that meets local needs and fosters connected and inclusive communities, which is why we’re excited to launch this new pilot programme to invest more funding into our communities.

“This program builds on our existing community grants and uses CIL funding we collect from developers to directly invest in projects that benefit growing neighbourhoods.

“Whether it be a new playground to cater for new residents, expanding your local community centre, providing more access points to your local park, or something different, we look forward to reviewing the expressions of interest and seeing these important projects come to life across our district.

“I encourage all town and parish councils and local not-for-profit groups to make the most of this fantastic funding opportunity and get your submissions in.”

Projects will need to deliver new or expanded physical infrastructure to cater to more residents and weight will also be given to projects that have elements of sustainability, inclusivity and consideration of environmental impacts.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open to town and parish councils and not-for-profit community groups and organisations for six weeks, with submissions closing at 5pm on 5 April 2024. Following the EOI process, projects which meet the funding requirements will be invited to submit a full application.

Find out more about the pilot grant fund, view the guidance documents and submit an Expression of Interest on the Community Infrastructure Levy Grant Fund webpage.