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New energy support scheme to help community buildings stay open

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West Oxford Community Centre
Oxfordshire County Council has launched a new energy support scheme to help community buildings with their energy bills this winter. Image: West Oxford Community Centre

Local community groups can access additional support to keep their buildings open and help the most vulnerable this winter.

Oxfordshire County Council and Oxfordshire Community Foundation have launched a new energy fund to support Oxfordshire’s thriving voluntary and community sector during the cost of living crisis.

The £100,000 fund will support local community building owners with their energy bills through access grants to help keep their buildings open to the most vulnerable this winter.

The Community Building Energy Support Scheme is funded by Oxfordshire County Council and will help community groups to ensure venues can stay open.

The site of the community building for which grant funding is being requested must be in Oxfordshire, and the beneficiaries must be people, not an individual, not animals or the environment.

The amounts available range from £250 to £3,000. 

The funding opportunity is open until noon on 21 November 2022. Community groups can find out more and apply online by going to Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s website.

Councillor Mark Lygo, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Equalities, said: “The council committed to ensuring that community venues stay open this winter. 

“This fund will continue to support the hard work of community groups, who are helping some of the most vulnerable people in the county, so that rises in costs to access services are not passed on.

Zoe Sprigings, Chief Executive Officer for the Oxfordshire Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Oxfordshire County Council again on a further round of grants, this time to support the increased costs of running premises. 

“We know that community buildings are becoming hubs for everything from mutual aid to befriending to debt advice, and we really welcome this additional support to keep these spaces open for the winter.”

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