Funding for local community projects up for grabs

Do you have a great idea for a community initiative that will benefit local people but just needs the funds to get it off the ground?

Have you already got a successful community project that you’d like to expand or develop?

If the answer is yes, then Buckinghamshire’s 16 Community Boards want to hear from you.

Community boards are the local arm of the council. Working at a grassroots level with local people, groups and organisations, their aim is to drive forward the council’s priorities at a local level, tailored to the needs of each individual area.

Since they were set up last July, the boards have made great strides in forging strong relationships with local communities, listening to and engaging with local people to understand what matters most to them and working together with them to deliver projects to benefit their local communities.

Each community board has funds available to support projects that meet the agreed priorities for their area. Community boards set their local priorities and an action plan for how they want to address these with local people, groups and businesses in their area. Everything from support for older people, health and wellbeing, transport and youth initiatives feature as part of their plans to make a difference. The boards are keen to hear from local people about projects and ideas they may have. Of particular focus this year will be initiatives to improve the environment and supporting economic recovery. Community boards are keen to hear from community groups and partners, to work with them on their ideas and projects in these areas. If you have an idea for funding or are just keen to get involved in an action group looking at how to tackle local issues, get in touch with your community board directly.

Community board projects range from BMX parks for young people to skills to get back out to work, right through to improving roads and community spaces. In their first year Buckinghamshire’s 16 community boards supported a whole range of projects including:

  • support to a range of groups providing support to local communities during the pandemic
  • environmental projects including wildlife competitions, community clear-ups and planting schemes
  • working with students and young people to develop an app to drive up engagement with the younger community
  • funding a range of charity projects focused on mental health and wellbeing

Steve Bowles, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities said: “Community boards are here to make a real difference to the people of Buckinghamshire at a truly local level. We are delighted at how well the community boards have established themselves in their local communities over the past year but there is still work to be done. We want to make sure everyone knows about their local community board and how they can get involved. share ideas and work with us to improve where they live.

“Community boards are two-way partnerships between the council and local communities. The essence of our vision is summed up in our simple strapline – Local voices, local choices, local action. By working together with our local communities, we can truly bring change and improvement to your area, directly addressing your concerns and priorities at a local level.”

He continued: “Every community board has a range of ways of keeping in touch with their community including newsletters and social media. You can keep up to date with what’s going on and get involved in matters that you are interested in. We are especially keen to hear from local people on ideas they may have for ways to improve the area where they live. Not every idea will be doable but local residents and groups are the ones who can really tell us what issues need to be addressed and we want to work with them to make changes for the better.”

Find out more about Buckinghamshire’s Community Boards.

Young people and members of the Aylesbury Community Board's Youth Views project pose for photo outside Queens Park Arts Centre.

Aylesbury Community Board's Youth Views project, from left, Amy Jenner (Community Board Coordinator – Aylesbury), Melinda Orton (Action for Youth), Cllr Susan Morgan (Vice chair of Aylesbury Community Board) and David Hall (Cloudy Foundation) + 2 young people.