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Council plans community grants review to support COVID-19 recovery

RUGBY Borough Council has confirmed plans to review its annual community grants programme.

The review of the Community Project Grants and Rural Development Fund aims to ensure voluntary and community organisations can deliver projects which focus on the borough's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and support the council's new Corporate Strategy.

The strategy, which looks set to be considered for adoption by councillors next month, outlines the council's overarching priorities for 2021-2024, in line with the wider transformation programme announced by the council in November.

Cllr Emma Crane, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for communities and homes, said the voluntary, community and charity sectors had made vital contributions to the borough during the pandemic, and had an important role to play in the borough's post-pandemic recovery.

"Throughout the pandemic, the council has reacted quickly to the many challenges our communities have faced, and our new Corporate Strategy and transformation programme aims to build on this community-led approach across our services," Cllr Crane added.

"Both the council and our communities need to be equipped to deal with the challenges ahead, from post-pandemic recovery to climate change and the financial pressures on local government, and we look forward to working in partnership with the community and voluntary sector to meet these challenges.

"By taking the time now to review our grants, we can ensure our grant funding can support community-led projects which deliver the most benefits to the borough."

In order for the review to be completed, the council intends to invite applications for Community Project Grants and grants from the Rural Development Fund in the summer, with the successful applicants announced in November.

The council has maintained its grant funding pot of £63,410 for 2021/2022, and intends to extend the deadline for the delivery of grant-supported projects from one year to two in order to minimise the impact of ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Councillors look set to consider the plans for reviewing the annual community grants programme at next month's full council meeting.

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