Wiltshire groups are being encouraged to apply for special funding for projects bringing military and civilian communities together as two Wiltshire charities have heard their bids have been successful.
The Covenant Fund is a Ministry of Defence scheme which provides financial backing for projects designed to cement stronger ties and mutual understanding between members of the armed forces and the wider community in which they live.
Grants of up to £20,000 are available for community-led projects with a series of deadlines throughout the year when people can submit applications. Groups are encouraged to put in their bids as two Wiltshire groups have just heard their applications in an earlier round of Covenant Fund applications were successful.
Wiltshire South County Guide Association has successfully applied for £15,000 to help towards the £97,000 cost of creating enhanced facilities at its Berwick St James HQ Activity Centre. The improvements will help support the expected rise in children wishing to belong to the guide movement when they return from living in Germany.
The Marlborough Brandt Group has successfully received funding of £19,806 to establish a pilot after-school Commonwealth Club open to all children in primary schools where there are a significant percentage of service children.
Deadlines for the grant scheme are set by MOD but expressions of interest can be emailed to Wiltshire Council firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance before submitting a bid.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook, OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: “Wiltshire has a long association with the military and this will continue as we prepare to welcome 4,300 service personnel who will settle into Wiltshire permanently as part of the Army Basing Programme. Just as important as creating the infrastructure will be the support to help them settle and be a part of their communities. We’re here to help support those groups or people who have ideas for projects which will forge these good relations.”
More information on the fund is available on the MOD website including guidance on how to apply and application forms. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/covenant-fund
A larger grants programme for strategic projects up to £500,000 will be open for applications in 2016.
The Covenant Fund was launched in August 2015 replacing the former Community Covenant Grant Scheme. Under the previous scheme funding of £925,001 was drawn down into Wiltshire via 36 successful projects, which included support for families, advocacy for veterans, arts projects and improved sports and community facilities.