Community First is an £80m government-funded initiative managed by the Community Development Foundation (CDF) that will run for four years, until March 2015. The programme will help communities come together to identify their strengths and local priorities in order to plan for their future and become more resilient. It will fund both new and existing community groups.
£30 Million is now available to fund community projects in some of the most deprived areas of the country. People will be encouraged to give time, expertise and resources towards the projects they identify in their areas. The government will match these pound for pound, helping to stimulate local action towards meeting community needs.
- Communities will set up local panels in each eligible ward, and will decide upon projects for funding in their area.
- It is a matched fund programme, which means that every £1 provided in funding must be matched by a similar amount of in-kind donations (this means donations of cash, services, free products or volunteer time).
The programme aims to:
- Support local projects that improve the quality of life for local people;
- Help revitalise existing groups, and help to kick start new ones;
- Enable local people to take ownership over opportunities and resources, as well as tackle problems;
- Introduce new approaches to the funding of local projects by the leveraging of time, money and other resources. This will help neighbourhoods play a leading role in the regeneration of their area.
It is hoped that this fund will:
- Help communities help themselves and others;
- Neighbourhood groups will be able to express their needs and influence decisions made about their community;
- Neighbourhood groups will be in a better position to take control of their resources (needed to make a difference), so enhancing confidence, capability and the creation of partnerships.