An innovative new fund that will invest in the power of communities has been given the green light by Warwickshire County Council.
The £2.5m Warwickshire Social Fabric Fund will provide a route to explore the development of local projects and initiatives that will have a positive impact on communities.
The fund will look to allocate resources across the county to areas where they can have the most impact and will empower communities to be part of the solution; focusing primarily on the 22 Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) identified in the Countywide Approach to Levelling Up.
The Social Fabric Fund supports the Council’s commitment to harness the power of communities to create opportunities and tackle inequalities, building on the strengths and assets that already exist.
Through the fund there will be dedicated support available to communities to develop proposals that look to invest and build social infrastructure, this could cover a range of services and facilities that meet local needs and contribute towards creating a good quality of life.
Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture said:
“The Social Fabric Fund presents real opportunities to put levelling-up into action and work with communities across Warwickshire to develop solution focused ideas that address their priorities.
“Through the fund we will work with communities, building on their strengths, to invest and build social infrastructure that could make a real difference to the lives of local people.
“We believe this fund fills a gap in the funding available to communities by being highly flexible, and is further investment by Warwickshire County Council following the launch of the successful Warwickshire Social Impact Fund in 2021 which was designed to tackle inequality and social exclusion.”
Warwickshire County Council is working with Heart of England Community Foundation to operate the fund.
Tina Costello, CEO at Heart of England Community Foundation, said:
“It’s fantastic that we’re continuing to work with Warwickshire County Council to support the delivery of the Social Fabric Fund. We previously worked in partnership to deliver their successful £1million Social Impact Fund and saw first-hand the impact it had across Warwickshire communities. This new fund is vital in tackling inequalities across the county, and we’re excited to see what kind of projects come forward.”
The fund will be complemented by dedicated community workers, provided by Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (WCAVA) who will provide support to communities with their funding proposals.
The Social Fabric Fund has a total value of £2.5million with an indicative split of 40% revenue and 60% capital funding and will run over two years up to 31 March 2025.
Longer term the County Council hopes to develop the fund to be self-sustaining by working with social investors, philanthropists, and businesses.
More information about the Social Fabric Fund is available here: www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/warwickshire-county-council-social-fabric-fund/