Cheshire East Council has set aside £2m over the next two years of its New Homes Bonus, which is a grant paid by Central Government to local authorities to reflect and incentivise housing growth within their areas to help address local priorities.
The figure for our area (which includes Wilmslow, Alderley Edge & Handforth) is £173,462 over the two years.
On Monday, 22nd October, the eight Cheshire East Councillors who represent Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Handforth (Cllrs Gary Barton, Ellie Brooks, Craig Browne, Barry Burkhill, Toni Fox, Dennis Mahon, Rod Menlove and Don Stockton) met to discuss and agree the broad priorities for our area.
Each application for funding will be expected to address at least one of these, which are:
- physical health & wellbeing
- mental health & anxiety
- social isolation & independent living
The group will meet again in January to consider any applications that have been received. In order to demonstrate the group's non-political intentions, it was decided that there should be two co-chairmen, who will chair alternate meetings. The first meeting was chaired by Cllr Rod Menlove (Conservative) and the next meeting will be chaired by Cllr Craig Browne (Independent).
Cllr Rod Menlove commented "The top priorities are intentionally broad for our combined area, to encourage as many organisations as possible to apply. Full application information will be on the CEC website by the end of next week, but in the meantime interested groups can email their relevant CEC Ward Councillor who will forward the details."
Cllr Craig Browne added "the deadline for applications is tight, being 31st December; however, I'm sure that there are many local groups who are already delivering against the priorities we have agreed and who would benefit from the extra funding. The grants we will be awarding are for £10,000 or more and the good news is that they can cover both capital costs and running costs."
For community, voluntary or faith sector organisations, free advice and support in preparing an application to the New Homes Bonus is available through your local CVS (Council for Voluntary Service) - to access this support, send an email to email@example.com.
The potential project areas within each of the top priorities are as follows:
Physical Health & Wellbeing
- improving/developing parks, play areas, green spaces and leisure facilities
- projects to encourage active lifestyles
- improving and promoting use of walking and cycling routes
- Environmental improvements eg clearing and weeding pathways, planting schemes
Mental Health & Anxiety
- anxiety in young people
- cyber access for all and raising awareness of use and abuse
- mental health support
- developing dementia friendly communities and dementia support
Social Isolation and Independent Living
- projects to reduce social isolation in all ages and including vulnerable individuals
- digital inclusion
- community transport schemes
- care in the community
- community integration projects
- improving access to local services and facilities