Longton Community Action Grants offer community groups, not-for-profit companies, and independent businesses in Longton Town Centre the chance to put their good ideas for Longton into practice.
A total of £10,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund is available to fund new ideas to revitalize Longton. The grant is administered by Urban Wilderness CIC, Longton’s Cultural Action Zone, as part of their award for Longton. There is £4000 to give away in Round One, and a further £6000 the following year.
Isla Telford, Co-Director of Urban Wilderness CIC says:
Urban Wilderness are one of four new Cultural Action Zones in Stoke. We have been based in Longton since 2019 and work closely with the community here. We know that there are lots of people putting a lot of effort into helping Longton thrive, and this fund offers a way for organisations to try out brilliant ideas without being out of pocket.
Eligible applicants can apply for up to £500 cash to buy items to support their ideas. The items must benefit the community or make improvements to the Town Centre. The application form is online or you can pick up paper copies from Urban Wilderness’s HQ (The Moony Club) next to Iceland in Longton Exchange Shopping Precinct.
Leader of the city council, Councillor Jane Ashworth said:
This funding will help to breathe new life into Longton and allow organisations to make some of their brilliant ideas reality. It will also help to bring increased footfall to the town centre, helping local businesses.
Jenny Harper, Co-Director of Urban Wilderness CIC says:
All the applications are scored by a panel made up of PSCO’s, local residents and the local authorities, and then ‘rubber stamped’ by Longton Town Forum, so if you apply to the fund there will be a lot of people there to support you to bring your idea to life. The panel and the Town Forum are also there to add value to the grant, which might mean using their specialist knowledge or personal networks to make sure that the ideas are a success.
The fund is for ‘capital’, which means you can use the money to buy things which hold value or increase the value of existing assets. Machinery, improved signage, furniture are all eligible. If you’re not sure please contact Isla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheila Cowell, Chair of Longton Community Partnership (LCP), says:
I am delighted to encourage locally based organisations to consider applying for funding for practical capital items that will enable them to grow and develop their activities for the benefit of the local community. LCP have really benefited from sound advice and practical help from Urban Wilderness CIC over the last year, and we are so excited they are introducing this fabulous community focused initiative to Longton.
Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke South, says:
It is great to see government funding further supporting local community organisations through UKSPF grants and Urban Wilderness taking a leading role through their 'Small Grant Scheme'.
We have some fantastic community-based organisations around Longton and across Stoke-on-Trent so I know these grants will make a significant difference. Urban Wilderness have been making a significant contribution to improving the vibrancy of the town centre in Longton, so I hope this additional funding for local community groups will make a big difference in further supporting and strengthening communities across our city.
Laurel Gallagher, Co-Director of Urban Wilderness CIC says:
Our vision is that in five years’ Longton will be a thriving hub of cultural and community-led activity, with a range of people finding ways to live well on the high street We aspire that through events like the Longton Carnival and Pig Walk Parade that Longton will regularly attract visitors from all around the Potteries and beyond. The high street is in search of new meaning and purpose, but people in Longton are keen that the Town Centre is still a vibrant place to connect, socialize, and enjoy. This fund is an invitation to bring your own vision for Longton to life.
Applications for Round One are rolling until 16th February 2024. Round Two will open in May 2024.