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Our Place programme now open to applications

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 20, 2014

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£4.3m in support and grants is available for communities driving change in their area

Locality in partnership with the Local Government Association, are ready and raring to support at least 100 areas as they work towards making local services in their neighbourhoods, such as adult social care, health or employment, better for all.

Open to applications from 20 January, groups can apply for direct support and grant funding.

Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the £4.3m Our Place programme will benefit communities across England, including in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods, giving local citizens a say in tackling local issues and shaping the public services they want.

Our Place gives greater control to the people who live in a neighbourhood, who know what they need and are determined to improve their area.

It is expected that there will be a surge of applications with already over 250 organisations and individuals emailing Locality, so interested groups are encouraged to apply early.

The support programme will comprise grants, direct support and shared learning activities, including a champions’ network, peer groups, webinars and other events.

Our Place is already starting to make a difference in 12 pioneer areas.

“Locality promotes a culture of collaboration in communities, and these new funding opportunities mean that we can foster this approach more widely.

"We strongly believe that local people and local agencies have the insights, connections, passion and commitment to their neighbourhood to best decide what local services should look like and how public funds are spent. We’re committed to putting power back in the hands of the people where it belongs.” said Steve Wyler, Locality’s CEO

The programme is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Led by Locality in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA) and supported by a team of delivery associates: Community Development Foundation (CDF), the Office for Public Management (OPM), National Association of Local Councils (NALC), Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, Young Foundation, Community Matters, Social Enterprise UK (SEUK), Pro Bono Economics and New Economy Manchester.

Stephen Williams MP, Communities Minister said: “The Our Place programme which opened for applications today will help local communities across the country take more control of their neighbourhoods to tackle local issues.

"Building on the great work emerging from the 12 Our Place Pioneers this is a fantastic opportunity to support at least another 100 areas and create real momentum in changing the way that public services are delivered.

"Locality, the LGA and their partners have a wealth of experience in working with communities and public service providers and I wholeheartedly encourage any group with an interest in changing their neighbourhood for the better to apply and take advantage of the support that is on offer.”

Sir Merrick Cockell, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for residents to shape the services in their areas and play a part in their delivery. We are excited to see the different ideas communities and groups come up with and we look forward to working with them and seeing such projects develop.”

Alison Seabrooke, Chief Executive of the Community Development Foundation (CDF) said: “The Our Place programme is a fantastic opportunity for people to improve the services in their community, making sure that these services best meet the needs of local people. Getting resources into communities is a key driver for CDF, and we are looking forward to working with Locality and the Local Government Association to administer the grants for participating areas.”

The programme is supported by a team of delivery associates including the Community Development Foundation (CDF) as grant administrators and The National Association of Local Councils (NALC).

Visit the My Community Rights website for information, resources, inspiration, advice and to apply for support and grants.

Camilla Sheldon, policy lead for Our Place at DCLG and Margaret Adjaye, Director of Programmes at Locality will be available to answer questions in a live Tweetchat #AskOurPlace tomorrow, Tuesday 21 January between 12pm and 1pm.

Follow @CommunitiesUK and @mycommrights

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