Communities across the West Midlands have the opportunity to host celebrations funded by the National Lottery, thanks to a new partnership between the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
The first Mayor’s Community Weekend will take place on Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July 2018, with £50,000 of National Lottery funding up for grabs for communities to hold celebratory events across the West Midlands.
Grants of up to £500 each will be on offer to groups across the region including Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke, Telford, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire.
The aim of the Mayor’s Community Weekend is to bring whole communities together, who live side by side every day, to celebrate the experiences they share and make new memories. It will encourage people from all walks of life to build stronger community bonds and embrace community spirit by holding events such as a street party, a mini-festival or sharing in community activity.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, said: “Having a sense of pride in our young, diverse communities is really important for the West Midlands. This is why I wanted the Mayor’s Community Weekend to take place annually as it will provide an opportunity for communities to share experiences.
“I’m really pleased the Big Lottery Fund will be supporting us and helping to provide assistance to community groups and organisations that are looking to stage events. The financial support will, I’m sure, go a long way and ensure the weekend celebrations go with a swing, whether it be through doing a new project, a litter pick or just learning more about our neighbours.”
James Harcourt, England Grant-Making Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “This is about getting people together to celebrate being part of their community and all the benefits this brings, from having someone to talk to, to sharing memorable experiences and moments and giving us a sense of belonging. It will be great to see people applying for funding to get creative, bring people together and make something amazing happen on their doorstep. We hope the weekend will get more people taking part in their local communities, sparking new interests and friendships.”
The Big Lottery Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. In 2016/17, it awarded £64 million to the West Midlands to fund bright ideas, big or small.
90% of the grants it makes are for under £10,000.
Communities can apply for funding from 9am on Thursday 29 March 2018 to hold an event during the Mayor’s Community Weekend. Applications close at 9am on Monday 16 April 2018.