New grant scheme launched to support sports and culture in Aberdeenshire

Community organisations and individuals involved in sports and cultural projects are being encouraged to apply for funding through a new grant scheme launched by Aberdeenshire Council.

The new Capacity Grants scheme is worth over a third of a million pounds over the next two years and has been split into four funding streams:

• The Excel Fund

• The Connecting Communities Fund

• The Creative Economy Fund

• The Assist Fund

The Excel Fund will support individual or groups to develop skills or take part in national or international sports and cultural events such as dance competitions, music competitions and training.

This year, the Excel Fund is worth £12,000 in total and awards for individuals are available up to a maximum of £500 and for groups to a maximum of £1,000.

The Connecting Communities Fund focuses on projects which aim to reduce childhood obesity and inactivity, support intergenerational work and the area’s older citizens, and celebrate Doric, traditional music and North East culture.

The Connecting Communities Fund is worth £120,000 in 2017-18 and awards of £2,000, £5,000 and £10,000 are available with applicants required to make an additional contribution to the project from existing funds or other sources.

The Creative Economy Fund will provide support to projects in the craft and creative industry across Aberdeenshire, for example, the development of craft fairs within localities.

The fund is open to all new creative businesses working in advertising and marketing; publishing; IT, software applications and games; music, performance and visual arts; film, TV, video, radio and photography; architecture; craft; product design, fashion and graphic designers; and museums, galleries and libraries.

This year the fund is worth £20,000 in total and the maximum award available is £1,500.

The Assist Fund will support community organisations delivering sports and cultural opportunities which are facing short-term financial challenges, such a breakdown of equipment which could lead to the organisation being unable to function.

Awards made through the Assist Fund will generally be to a maximum of £5,000 although awards of £10,000 may be available in exceptional circumstances.

Potential applicants to the Assist Fund are recommended to contact Aberdeenshire Council for additional advice and assistance in progressing their applicant ahead of submission.

Chair of the council’s Education & Children’s Services Committee, Cllr Alison Evison, said: “Our new Capacity Grants scheme is promoting an active Aberdeenshire in which people lead healthy lifestyles and cultural connections to support the area’s rich heritage.

“The work and success of local people and groups in sports and the arts is incredibly important in creating a thriving and dynamic area which is strengthened by projects which, for example, reduce childhood inactivity or boost local trades through craft initiatives.

“We’re particularly interested in receiving applications from relatively new organisations which perhaps need a bit of support to get themselves fully up and running.”

Chair of the council’s Communities Committee, Cllr Anne Allan, said: “The range of funding now available through our new grants scheme is very wide and there are detailed guidance notes for individuals and groups available on the council’s website which I recommend anyone interested in applying should read.

“It will be very exciting to read about the different projects these funds will support, our local communities are already making a huge impact in terms of promoting sports and cultural excellence in Aberdeenshire and this is a chance for them to shine even brighter.”

More information, including guidance notes, who is eligible for funding and application forms, can be found on the council’s website.

For further guidance or assistance please email capacitygrants@aberdeenshire.gov.uk