Applications for grants from West Sussex County Council’s Social Enterprise Fund have opened for this year.
From Tuesday July 1st social enterprises can apply for a share of the £350,000 fund for projects and initiatives that will benefit the local economy, community and environment. Grants of up to £25,000 are available.
Social enterprises are companies with social values at the heart of their business. Profits are re-invested into the business or into the local community. Examples include co-operatives, where staff own a part of the business, and community interest companies.
A previous recipient in Worthing was Breathing Spaces, a project that aims to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of older people through therapeutic gardens, which appeal to all five senses and are specially adapted to the needs of the user. A grant of £25,000 has allowed them to set up a service.
West Sussex County Council is running a free information workshop in Worthing to provide more detail about the Social Enterprise Fund and who can apply. This will be held at Centenary House, Durrington Lane, Worthing on Tuesday July 8th from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. To book a place e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org indicating you with to attend Worthing on July 8th as well as your contact details.
Additional free of charge one-to-one sessions will be available to support organisations through the application process, and help them develop their plans and budgets.
There are two funding schemes available under the Social Enterprise Fund. The deadline for applications to Stream 1 (Early Stage Development Grant) is 5.00pm on Tuesday August 12th.
The deadline for Expressions of Interest under Stream 2 (main grant scheme) is 5.00pm on Thursday August 14th. Full details can be found on the West Sussex Social Enterprise Network (WSSEN) website.
West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Michael Brown, said: “Social enterprises put themselves firmly at the heart of the local economy and community, which is why West Sussex County Council is keen to support and raise the profile of these businesses and organisations.
“By offering this funding we are reaffirming our commitment to ensuring that West Sussex has a thriving local economy, which ultimately benefits everyone living and working in the county.
“We really want to see a wide variety of applications this year, so please get in touch or attend a workshop if you think your project is eligible for funding. It could be exactly what you need to help get your initiative off the ground.”
More information about the Social Enterprise Fund, including the application form and examples of previously funded projects are available on the WSSEN website.