Over £1million to support Hampshire's culture and community organisations
Friday, 07 December 2012
Organisations that promote culture, community, music and the arts across Hampshire are set to benefit from £1.06million in grants from Hampshire County Council in the next financial year.
At his decision day this week (5 December), Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, Councillor Keith Chapman awarded £983,117 to culture and community groups, £70,000 to Anvil Arts and Turner Sims (and a further £70,000 for 2014/15), £6,000 to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to work with Hampshire schools, and £15,000 to help more organisations achieve greater efficiencies and reduce their ongoing dependency on grant funding for the long term.
This latest round of financial support follows an extensive review carried out last year, of all the grants given by the County Council to cultural, recreational and community organisations in order that a more sustainable system for financial support from the Council could be provided in future. In the current economic climate, it also promotes more groups becoming financially independent while better meeting the needs of local communities.
For 2013/14 and beyond, an improved application process has now been introduced that complements the work of the County Council in meeting the needs of Hampshire's 1.3million residents and aims to encourage greater numbers of groups to come forward to apply for financial support.
As a result applications from around 40 groups have been received so far for the coming financial year, among those to benefit are; The Lights in Andover, The Anvil Trust in Basingstoke, Pilands Wood Community Association in Eastleigh, The Privett Centre near Petersfield, Alton Community Association, Forest Forge Theatre Company in Ringwood, and The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant.
Councillor Keith Chapman said: "We have worked with the organisations themselves and asked them for their views of how funding could be awarded in a more sustainable way to help them in the longer term to continue their work in local communities and how this should be prioritised. As a result, and in recognition of their important role in supporting our work, particularly in the current economic climate, we have modernised and streamlined the Council's grant application system. In this way, we are able to continue to provide these groups with financial backing despite the ongoing financial pressures that the public sector faces from reduced levels of Government funding.
"This new process provides a fair and level playing field for all organisations that apply for funding in future to better meet the needs of local communities."