£3million grant for multi-faith communities

The Department for Communities and Local Government has announced £3million of grant funding to expand the Near Neighbours programme across nine new areas of the country, including Nottingham.

Launched by the Communities Secretary in 2011 in partnership with the Church Urban Fund, Near Neighbours provides small grants and support to grassroots groups and multi-faith communities, recognising that local groups know what works best in their area. Funding is given to communities with significant religious diversity to help them run projects which will bring about lasting benefits to their neighbourhoods.

The new funding will enable projects to expand into Nottingham, Luton, Rochdale, Bury, Dewsbury, Leeds, North and West London and the Black Country. It will also further equip people with the skills, relationships and confidence to improve their local communities, building on the achievements on the first phase of Near Neighbours.

To date over 500 groups have received Near Neighbours grants of up to £5,000 and the impact of these projects has been:

  • 89 percent of those who have received Near Neighbours grants consider their projects to have lead to a greater sense of togetherness or community spirit;
  • Over 280,000 people are estimated to have benefitted from the Near Neighbours programme; and
  • 97 percent considered that their projects had developed relationships with neighbours from different religious backgrounds.

One of the successful Near Neighbour projects to have benefited from the small grants is a community garden in Leicester created by local residents and school children and enjoyed by the whole community.

For further information visit www.gov.uk/government/news/multi-faith-communities-to-benefit-from-new-3-million-grant.