£110,000 for 2015 Community Fund revealed for Merseyside and Halton’s best re-use and recycling schemes

A Merseyside-wide search launches today for community and voluntary groups, not for profit enterprises and schools with visions to transform the region’s recycling habits.

Merseyside Waste and Recycling Authority (MRWA) is offering a share of a £110,000 Community Fund pot for the eight brightest and greenest schemes across Merseyside and Halton.

Applicants have three weeks to register interest in the funding and must prove how they will reduce, reuse or recycle household waste, cut carbon emissions and deliver job and volunteering opportunities and other benefits.

The launch of the 2015 Community Fund comes weeks after a report revealed that the Authority’s annual Community Fund, in 2013/14, had successfully diverted 1,194 tonnes from landfill (saving tax payers £95,000 in landfill tax); cut the region’s carbon emissions by 1,152 tonnes and created or safeguarded local jobs.

MRWA chairperson Councillor Graham Morgan said: “The Community Fund has supported local organisations for a number of years and it has more than made its mark – not just in reducing household waste but in delivering a huge range of other benefits including annual savings for individuals and their communities.

“It’s been a success because of the sheer creativity, commitment and reach of the voluntary and community sector across Merseyside and Halton and we look forward to receiving even more imaginative ideas for this year’s fund.”

The application process is starting earlier this year to give successful projects nine months to deliver their schemes. It has also been simplified, with less form-filling for groups wanting to submit an Expression of Interest. Winners will be awarded up to £25,000 for schemes which operate across Merseyside and Halton and £8,000 for projects which work solely at local authority level and will be expected to launch their schemes in June.

Previous Community Fund projects include  an ‘eco garden’ in St Helens, a range of awareness raising initiatives, a school uniform re-use scheme helping lower income families; a scheme training young unemployed people in furniture restoration skills in Wirral and Halton and a project which used recycled items to create emergency furniture packs for  435 vulnerable families.

Another project used Community Fund support to open a shop in Bromborough selling pre-loved goods so volunteers could raise money to re-launch a local meals on wheels service.

Wirral Community Meals Founder Val Hamlet said: “Quite simply, the fund has made a huge difference to us. Without the money for the shop we’d never have been able to get off the ground and start raising funds to get the meals and wheels up and running again.”

Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Now extended until 13th March 2015

Shortlisted groups will then be invited to submit a more detailed entry.