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‘They need help now’ – £131k in Covid-19 recovery cash set aside for struggling voluntary groups

David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said budgets for the area's six zones will go towards Covid-19 recovery Picture: JAMES AGER

David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said budgets for the area's six zones will go towards Covid-19 recovery Picture: JAMES AGER

James Ager

More than £130,000 is being set aside to help Ipswich community groups and projects get back on their feet through a coronavirus recovery fund.

David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said budgets allocated to the borough’s six area zones – which voluntary organisations usually bid for throughout the year – will instead be used to fund Covid-19 recovery.

Once the council’s area committees give the proposals the green light, cash-strapped organisations will be able to apply for grants to help them recover from the impact of Covid-19.

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Mr Ellesmere said: “We want to get that money out into the community and the local economy as quickly as possible, to help recovery.

“The intention is to have a big push for applications now so we can start getting that money out to community groups and projects, and voluntary organisations who need that help now.”

Funding will be allocated according to the budget for each zone.

The budgets available for each area as of July 1, 2020, are as follows:

North West – £17,699

South West – £33,059

Central – £17,027

North East – £25,897

South East – £4,341.70 (plus £33,400 Ravenswood Fund)

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The money will go towards helping community groups and projects that have found the pandemic challenging.

“Clearly, we know there are community and voluntary groups who have found it quite tough as a result of the virus,” Mr Ellesmere added.

“We’ve got to think, is there any help they need to keep them going.”

He also said if organisations are pulling together to provide a service or project which is helping people in their community to recover from Covid-19, these are the kinds of groups that should be applying for the fund.

Once it is established and given the go-ahead at meetings this month, applications will go live.

Funding will be allocated to successful projects at the next round of committee meetings in September.

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