Labour councillor Michelle McGinty with community group representatives.
Published 04 October 2023
By Bill Heaney
Community organisations will have the opportunity to apply for funding to enhance the support they offer West Dunbartonshire residents as the Council’s Cost of Living Capital Fund re-opens.
The £1 million fund can to be used for capital costs incurred as part of initiatives which help alleviate the impact of the cost of living crisis.
Last year, the fund awarded money to 16 different organisations including Awestruck Academy, who upgraded their nursery, kitchen, IT suite and leisure equipment; Lomond and Clyde Care and Repair, who purchased a van to help with delivery of their repair service; Daniel’s Wish, who used the funding to purchase sensory equipment to help children and young people with complex needs: and Tullochan Trust, who purchased a commercial range cooker and ventilation for the Common Good Café.
To qualify, the applicant must demonstrate plans to purchase a new asset including equipment; enhance or upgrade an existing asset; or extend the use or life of an existing asset. The benefit created by the asset must last for longer than one year.
The asset can include items like windows or central heating if it reduces the outgoing costs and allows groups to use the money on those who need it most.
The Cost of Living Capital Fund was introduced by the cross party Cost of Living Working Group last year, with £1 million available over four years.
A total of £226,924 was awarded in the first year (2022/23) with a remaining £773,076 left to be distributed in years two to four.
Councillor Michelle McGinty, who chairs the working group, said: “The uptake of this fund in its first year was high and it was really pleasing to see the difference it made to groups and therefore our communities.
“We expect even more interest in grant funding this time around given its success in the first year, so I would encourage applicants give as much detail as they can to show how this money will be used to benefit the people of West Dunbartonshire.
“Each application will be considered on its own merits, with the working group looking in particular at the number of local people who will benefit from the money in relation to the amount of grant requested, as well as the group’s own fundraising efforts and any matched funding.”
Councillor Clare Steel, RIGHT, vice chair of the Working Group, added: “We recognise that the people of West Dunbartonshire continue to struggle due to the increasing cost of living, and this funding will ensure that aside from the direct support received from the Council, our community organisations are in a position to enhance their offer too.
“It’s vital we continue to work together to ensure those hardest hit have the support they need to continue the great work they do for our residents.”
For more information please visit: https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/benefits-and-grants/cost-of-living-capital-fund/