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Issue 344 – Community projects receive £20,500

A young apprentice job and business fair, more allotments for the town and Frome Town Football Club will all benefit from the first funds to be donated by a company which has been set up to encourage economic growth.

The Frome Development Community Interest Company (FDCIC) was formed in October to distribute the £250,000 the town has received from a private donor to help the local community. The £50,000 per year for five years is to encourage and fund local initiatives which will promote a sense of community.
As well as making the first round of grants, FDCIC is funding a local expert to help seven local groups make a bid to The Big Lottery. Ten grants of up to £1million is up for grabs to inspire and support communities
In their local funding, FDCIC received 10 applications and has now selected the three projects to receive £20,500 between them.
Peter Macfadyen, Frome Development first director said, “Being very aware of the pressures young people are under, with high youth unemployment and reduced youth services, we were delighted to be asked to fund the ‘Frome Young Apprentice, Job and Business Fair’ by the Cheese and Grain.
“This will employ young people to work in the community, leading up to an event in September aimed at providing a wide range of skills and opportunities in business development and apprentice placements. FDCIC will contribute £8,500 towards a total budget of around £11,000.
The FDCIC will also contribute £7,000 to The Allotment Association towards a total budget of around £11,000.
Peter Macfadyen said, “This is a particularly pleasing project in that it brings together the resources of the town and an existing community association, using CIC funding to halve the allotment 10 year waiting list, and radically enhance the capacity of the association.
“The Allotment Association initially asked for funding to improve their website, but this quickly developed into a more significant request as the potential for new land became a reality. The plan is now that the town council will make land and fencing available, and once this materialises, the CIC will support extra work on paths, and a shelter and a raised allotment for less able gardeners.”
The grant will also cover planting, educational and training outputs and an outreach worker to support its members, especially those looking for new skills and look for opportunities to use extra produce. The project will have a focus on people with lower incomes.
In explaining the grant for Frome Town Football Club, Peter Macfadyen said, “The link between football and the objectives of the CIC is less clear at first. However, Frome Town Football Club has had a community focus for over 110 years. The club is at the highest level they have ever competed, and this brings potential to increase its profile and broaden the work it does not just in the league, but throughout Frome. However, the club must improve its seating to remain in the league – with only a few months to raise the funds.
“The CIC wishes to recognise the importance of the club and to support its upward projection, in the belief that this will lead to even greater capacity to bring in youngsters who might not otherwise have that opportunity. The CIC will contribute £5,000 towards a total budget of £46,000.
“Although the CIC will continue to make grants like those above, we also have a role to catalyse and support ideas. The Big Lottery is making 10 grants of up to £1million to inspire and support communities to deal with issues such as spiralling food and fuel costs, by taking advantage of green opportunities, and through this reap financial, environmental and health gains.
“We will be funding a local expert to work together with seven local groups, businesses and organisations and make a bid for this funding. We believe that even if the bid is not successful, the process of looking at opportunities will be useful for the CIC and Frome in the future. If it is successful, our initial investment will have been well spent!
“Finally, we would like to thank all those who applied to the CIC – all the ideas were inspiring and we have focused on those which best fitted our initial aims. Over the next month the CIC will be adjusting its funding criteria in the light of the applications we received.
“The next deadline for applications will then be 1st April, with new application forms and guidance available from FromeDevelopmentCIC@virginmedia.com from mid February.”

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