Wilmslow to receive £173,000 New Homes Bonus for community projects

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Cheshire East Council's cabinet has approved a scheme to provide funding to assist communities where new housing developments have been built.

The new homes bonus community fund, which provides a total of £2m up to 2020, will give local communities an opportunity to present their ideas for projects to ward members and town and parish councils for consideration. The best ideas will go to Cheshire East Council for approval, which could be almost anything from a youth scheme to a highways project or community hub.
The minimum grant figure to be awarded for these projects is £10,000. The project cost has been pitched at that amount to try and ensure that the programmes of work approved will be of sufficiently significant prominence and ensure sustainability.

The fund will be split across the borough based on two elements: an annual fixed allocation of £350,000; and a variable allocation based on the net increase in homes, within each Fund Area, using data for the period October 2010 to October 2017.

The Council has decided to group the parishes according to the Area Highway Groups and allocate £50,000 to each of the seven areas. The annual Variable Allocation is £650,000 which will be split between each fund area based on net housing completions.

As a result the Wilmslow area, which includes Alderley Edge, is set to receive £86,731 in each of 2018/19 and 2019/20, with the local ward councillors deciding how the pot of money is spent and what the community priorities are.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: "The idea of the new homes bonus is to allow any groups and communities, that are affected by new housing developments, to come forward and tell the council what projects can make a positive difference to their local communities.

"These projects need to be ambitious and must be sustainable projects that will have a significant positive impact on people living immediately in the areas where the developments have been built.

"It's a very positive scheme, as it allows those that understand the areas where the projects will be undertaken to tell us what support could be provided. I'm looking forward to seeing what plans are put forward that can benefit from this first round of funding."

Funding released under this scheme will be subject to clear protocols to ensure outcomes are achieved. The council has undertaken a review of grant payments and a corporate grants policy will be considered by cabinet next month.

Details of how to apply for a new homes bonus will be published soon.

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