Up to £22,000 could be pumped into community projects across Preston.
A Community Innovation Fund has been set up by Preston City Council to support local groups who want to make changes in their area.
Cabinet member for social justice, inclusion and policy, councillor Matthew Brown, said: “We want to help local communities at a grass roots level, to make a real difference on the ground.
“More and more, we are seeing a disruption to the status quo and people taking the initiative to improve their own lives and the lives of others in their communities and neighbourhoods.
“This is what our Community Innovation Fund is all about. Laying the foundations and building capacity for groups to take the lead to bring about change street by street, community by community.
“All this is possible and more. It’s really exciting to help create a movement within Preston for the benefit of everyone.”
Any groups within the city can apply as long as they have new innovative ideas, need start-up costs covered or want to take part in educational courses or training.
The ideas must promote community involvement and volunteering by improving the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of an area – and they must be wanted. Groups need to show they have consulted residents on what’s proposed.
Cabinet member for resources, councillor Martyn Rawlinson, said: “This is a key priority for the Council, to support local communities and neighbourhoods. Yet, with such strain on public finances we have to think differently. To encourage and nurture innovation.
“To give power to the people to see and deliver change. From small acorns do big oak trees grow and that is exactly what this new fund is all about. Every community – and we mean every community – stands to benefit from this new fund and we are eager to hear ideas and suggestions from across the whole city. Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact their local Councillor who is the one that needs to champion the cause and apply on behalf of the group.”
Applications have to be made via your local ward councillor (you can search for them here)
The deadline for initial interest is Tuesday 1 September and details of how to apply are on the city council website.
What do you think of the fund? Will you be applying? Let us know in the comments below