Today's Weather for Cliftonville

Friday, 4 May 2007

Safer Stronger Communities Fund

Around 150 local people turned out to find out more about the Safer Stronger Communities Fund and what it’s achieved in its first year.

Set up to improve public spaces and the quality of life for local people living in the two wards of Cliftonville West and Margate Central, and the green space of Dane Park, the SSCF was awarded a total of £3.7 million over four years from central government. In the first year of operation, the team have funded 20 projects to help make the area safer, cleaner and greener and encourage the community to work together.

Representatives from some of the projects, which were funded by the SSCF, were amongst those at the Open Day, held at the Margate Media Centre last week (Thursday 26 April). One of the newly funded police bicycles for “Project Bike Cop” was on display and the police and fire service were on hand to give advice and talk to residents about safety issues. Amongst the other organisations attending who received funding were St. Paul's Community Trust, Cliftonville Primary School, with information also on hand about planned Green Flag improvements to Dane Park. The SSCF stand gave additional information on what the programme is all about and how people can apply for funding for this year.

Paul Trumble, Chair of the SSCF Board, said: “We were delighted with the turnout at the Open Day, which allowed local people to see where the money from the SSCF is being spent in their community. Residents could also find out about how to apply for funding in the future and we look forward to receiving more applications over the next few months.”

Maggie Woods from St Paul's Community Trust said of the event: "It’s good to see talk about regeneration resulting in positive outcomes and the degree of local ownership was impressive. I think the SSCF team should be really proud of what they have achieved in such a short space of time".

Community groups such as Gordon Road Area Street Scheme and the Dalby Square Project had displays to show what they have achieved. Both of these groups have recently been awarded SSCF funding to extend the good work that they do, building community spirit in their areas. Staff from Thanet District Council were giving information on Housing Renewal Grants, waste and recycling, sporting opportunities, benefits and about Margate’s Big Events, with representatives from the Thanet Coast Project also on hand.

Information was also provided by the Thanet Community Development Trust, Thanet Volunteer Bureau, Kent Victim Support, Focus to Work and the Local Strategic Partnership. Presentations were given by the SSCF Neighbourhood Champions on the community development work that they plan to do in the coming year, Sustainability Actions on the mapping exercise they have completed of the community and voluntary sector, and the SSCF team on the Residents' Survey, which looks at the priorities of local people, and they feedback on how the SSCF money is being used to address them.

To find out how an individual can apply for up to £1000 project funding from the SSCF (closing date 31 October 2007) click here (opens PDF document).

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