GROUPS and community organisations are set to bid for a lottery handout – and it’s up to you to choose which ones get it.
The News has joined up with the Big Lottery Fund and Community Action in Portsmouth to run The News Cash for Communities.
The programme is giving not-for-profit community clubs, schools, health projects and parish and town councils the chance to receive a grant from £10,000 to a massive £30,000.
Around 100 groups and organisations hoping to win a share in the fund were at the Oasis Centre in Arundel Street, Portsmouth, to find out more about how to apply.
They have until August 4 to get their bids in, and then it’ll be up to the readers of The News to vote for the winners.
Jacky Charman, community sector development officer. at Community Action in Portsmouth, said: ‘There is a fund of £250,000 on offer, and community groups and organisations can apply to fund their projects.
‘This money is really, really important to the area because it will make such a difference to what can be offered here.
‘It’s really, really exciting.
‘But we need people to vote for the projects they think should win.’
Voting starts in earnest in September after a shortlist of projects and groups is drawn up.
One of those hoping for some money is Landport Community Centre.
Its manager Joanne Kerr said winning a grant would make a huge difference to the local community.
‘We are the only community centre in Portsmouth that doesn’t receive any funding,’ said Joanne.
‘Winning this money would help us to stay open all the time, and put on activities for the community.’
Groundlings Theatre is also hoping for funding to fix its stage and to add to its lighting and sound.
Richard Stride, the theatre’s artistic director, said: ‘I think the city deserves a great arts centre, certainly on out of the ordinary.’
Application forms are still available at hants.scf.org.uk
TO APPLY for a grant you will need to be a community group, a not-for-profit group or a parish or town council.
Health bodies and schools can also apply.
Groups do not have to be a registered charity to apply.
One of the requirements is having a bank account that requires at least two people to sign each cheque or withdrawal.
You must also be in a position to use the grant within one year.
So, what are you waiting for?
Applications will be accepted until August 4.
A shortlist will then be made on September 16 with readers of The News being able to vote for their favourites.
There will also be the chance for readers to see exactly what the money will be spent on for two weeks after September 16.
The groups with the highest votes will be announced on October 7.
Applications and more information on the grants and the necessary requirements are available from hantscf.org.uk
They are also available by calling 01256 776109