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Grants issued to York groups
THE first grants for community groups in York under a controversial new funding system have been confirmed.
Fourteen bodies successfully bid for council help on initiatives which will run from September until next March, with £120,650 being made available.
Peasholme Charity, Gateway Action, York and District Citizens Advice Bureau and York Racial Equality Network have all secured grants for “large projects”, with smaller amounts of funding awarded to York Unifying and Multicultural Initiative, York Mind, Stretch, Family Matters York, NYBEP, Age UK, Older Citizens Advocacy York, Inspired Youth, York Bike Rescue and Miller’s Yard.
City of York Council has changed its funding system for voluntary organisations and local groups, replacing the old ward committee arrangements with the Community York scheme, operated by an outside, not-for-profit organisation, Your Consortium, which is being paid £14,000 a year.
Opponents of the changes have claimed the new application process is too bureaucratic and excludes parish councils and individuals from submitting bids, but the council has said it streamlines the procedure, provides more support and funds organisations which need it most.
Every project has to focus on one of four community “objectives”, and Your Consortium’s chief executive Sue Vasey said the new system was “exciting” and would “maximise investment into the voluntary and community sector”.
She said: “This fund will provide new opportunities for organisations who can demonstrate they can meet the needs of York residents.”
The council said Your Consortium already works with 28 York organisations and, since being set up four years ago, has drawn in £1.3 million of funding to help provide services in the city.
Coun Dafydd Williams, cabinet member for communities issues, said: “York’s voluntary and community sector contributes enormously to the city’s economic, social and cultural life at every level, and this is just the start of a successful collaboration which will directly benefit residents.”