25th October 2022

£100,000 Community Winter Warmth and Welcome Spaces Fund opens for applications

Grants made available by Essex County Council to create safe spaces which are free to the Essex public this winter.

Community groups and Parish and Town Councils across Essex are being urged to apply for grants of up to £1,000 to help them provide warm and welcoming spaces for residents this winter.

Essex County Council (ECC) has today (Friday 21 October) launched its Community Winter Warmth and Welcome Spaces Fund.

The £100,000 fund offers grants of up to £1,000 so organisations can create new spaces or activities, or extend their existing services.

Open to charities, clubs or associations, community interest companies and parish councils, the fund has been designed to support safe spaces which are free to the Essex public this winter.

These spaces could offer residents things to do, advice, warmth or support for their physical and mental health.

Grants can be used by groups for things like equipment to run new activities, venue or catering costs, operational costs including utilities, and staff or volunteer expenditure.

Cllr Louise McKinlay, ECC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnerships and Performance, said: “We know people across the country are struggling at the moment and helping tackle the cost of living crisis is a key priority for Essex County Council.

“Our new Community Winter Warmth and Welcome Spaces Fund will provide funding to organisations, so they can better support those in need in their communities.

“This might be by opening up somewhere warm for people to go this winter or offering activities for them to enjoy inside a safe and welcoming space.

“We hope this fund will provide support for those most in need, but also bring communities closer together and help people feel connected with others in their area. I would urge groups across Essex to apply.”

The fund forms part of ECC’s Cost of Living Support for Households and Communities plan, a £50m package of support announced last month.

Through the plan, ECC brings together partners, charities and organisations to tackle the issues residents are facing. It also maps the wider support being delivered across the county.

The Council’s approach is based on three pillars – Response, Resilience and Root causes, along with a six-point plan to support residents.

The plan will continue to evolve and will respond to the changing needs of people and communities in Essex.

To find out more or apply to the Community Winter Warmth and Welcome Spaces Fund, visit https://ealc.gov.uk/winter-warmth-and-welcome-spaces-fund/