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Community groups and charities in the North of England are being invited to bid for grants of up to £10,000 to help make local communities warmer, safer and more prosperous.

The Community Partnering Fund – a scheme run by Northern Gas Networks, Northern Powergrid and Leeds Community Foundation – launches this week.

Organisations can bid for grants between £1,000 and £10,000. Bids are now being accepted, with a closing date of October 16, 2018. A total of £50,000 is up for grabs in the current funding round, with a further round scheduled for spring 2019.

To win funding, applicants need to propose projects which will tackle fuel poverty, promote energy efficiency, educate communities about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide or electrical safety, encourage interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects or promote the Priority Services Register – a free support service for energy customers in vulnerable situations.

Tom Bell, Northern Gas Networks’ Head of Social Strategy said: “This is the third year we’ve run a grants scheme for local charities and community groups. This year, we’re delighted to be joined by Northern Powergrid – doubling the available funding opportunities.

“We’re asking organisations to propose schemes which tackle issues that are close to our hearts as utility companies – such as affordable warmth or the lack of young people choosing STEM subjects.

“As well as providing a short-term funding boost, we want to find organisations who can become our long-term partners. By working with groups who are embedded in their local communities, we can have much bigger impact.”

Siobhan Barton, Head of Stakeholder Relations at Northern Powergrid, said: “We see our role as much more than just keeping the lights on: we’re committed to supporting the communities we work and live in. The Community Partnering Fund is a fantastic way for us to support local groups as they help the communities they serve. 

“We encourage any groups with an outreach activity that develops, strengthens, and educates their local communities around STEM subjects, saving energy or encourages those eligible to sign up to our Priority Services Register to apply for a grant.”

£100,000 has been awarded over the past two years, via the scheme. Previous recipients have included a community radio station, homeless charity, food co-operative and refugee support group. 

Kate Hainsworth, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Foundation said: “The fact that this funding scheme is now entering its third year, and is even bigger and better than ever, is fantastic news for communities across the North of England.

“We’re working with Northern Gas Networks and Northern Powergrid to help administer the programme and are looking forward to reviewing many inspiring applications.”

An entry form and full details are available at the Leeds Community Foundation website:  https://www.leedscf.org.uk/community-partnering-fund