New £3.5million funding boost for community groups

Brick Lane crowd shot

A busy Brick Lane

Tower Hamlets’ local voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations have received a major £3.5million per year funding boost with the opening of applications for the Mayor’s Community Grants Programme.  

The new funding programme has been created by the council following engagement with VCS groups and residents, and the projects awarded funding will run from November 2023 to March 2027. 

An important principle of the new scheme is to support a wide range of organisations so all sections of the community benefit. Groups are encouraged to get their applications in before the deadline on Monday 5 June. 

Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “Our voluntary and community organisations play such a crucial role in Tower Hamlets. I’m pleased that through the council’s new funding scheme, we can help to provide the financial support that many local groups need to continue their dedicated work, making the borough a fairer, stronger and more equal place to live.” 

The funding will be targeted at projects related to five key themes: 

  • tackling the cost of living 
  • accelerating education 
  • culture, jobs, business and skills 
  • investing in public services 
  • empowering communities and fighting crime. 

Councillor Saied Ahmed, Cabinet Member for Resources and the Cost of Living said: “As many local families continue to face the hardship and challenges due to the cost of living crisis, I’m delighted that we’re able to play a positive role in supporting the much needed work of our local community organisations.  

“We want as many local groups as possible to apply for funding, and to take up the offer of support on hand to answer any questions they have to guide them through the process.” 

A website has been created which includes all the information and support needed to make an application. The website also includes details of a number of in-person and online events that local groups can attend, to get support and answers to any questions they have. The first of these take place in the council chamber at the new Town Hall between 1.30-3.00pm on Wednesday 26 April. 

The council’s strategic plan sets out its priorities and outcomes until 2026 including a commitment for long-term VCS funding.  

Tower Hamlets has around 1300 VCS organisations which are often the first place that people turn to for advice, services and support. They also run thousands of regular positive events and activities that bring residents together and have continued to be enjoyed by local people throughout the years. 

The council will also be launching its Small Grants Programme in November this year, providing £800,000 of funding per year to small and medium VCS organisations to provide exciting activities and events that improve the life of residents. 

Posted on Tuesday 25th April 2023