Oxford City Council agrees £1.4m of funding for city’s community groups

Published: Thursday, 15th February 2018

Oxford City Council has agreed another £1.4m of funding to help organisations that support some of the city’s most disadvantaged communities.

The City Council provides the community grants programme funding to Oxford’s community and voluntary sector every single year.

The 2018/19 funding, which totals £1,460,970, was agreed at a City Executive Board meeting on 13 February.

The funding includes:

  • £518,379 to organisations providing advice and money management, including £190,000 to Oxford Citizens Advice Bureau, £81,026 to the Agnes Smith Advice Centre, and £116,480 to Oxford Community Work Agency
  • £442,279 to groups providing services to Oxford’s homeless population. Councillors will decide how to allocate the funds, based on officer recommendations, at the City Executive Board on 20 March
  • £235,262 to encourage inclusion in arts and culture, including £25,000 to Film Oxford, £28,128 to Fusion Arts, £70,000 to Modern Art Oxford, £32,134 to Arts at the Old Fire Station, and £25,000 to Pegasus Theatre
  • £61,082 to community safety projects, including  £15,000 to Oxford Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre to provide a telephone helpline service

Other recipients include Oxford Friend (£3,000), Parasol Project (£15,000), Oxford Contemporary Music (£10,000), Experience Oxfordshire (£2,000) and more.

Previously, the City Council’s community grants programme offered one-year grants. But now, for the first time, the City Council is offering financial support for a period of up to three years to help community and voluntary organisations with their long term financial security.

In another new initiative, the City Council is also inviting organisations to apply for a grant of £116,208 to deliver support to the community and voluntary sector in Oxford, specifically providing:

  • Advice and support on governance, including working together to increase efficiencies and reduce costs
  • Help and support with fund raising
  • volunteering support

Organisations in Oxford that are interested in applying for the grant, which will be awarded through instalments over a three year period, must register with the South East Business Portal and search for ‘CVO infrastructure’.

During the past financial year, Oxford City Council provided a total of more than £2.6m in grant funding.

  • This includes the £1.4m through the community grants programme
  • £941,168 of grants to homelessness organisations (in addition to the £442,279 of funding provided through the £1.4m community grants programme)
  • £37,596 to Oxford Citizens Advice Bureau for money advice on behalf of the City Council’s Welfare Reform Team
  • £89,657 from councillors, who are given money to spend in their wards
  • £190,000 provided through the Youth Ambition and Holiday Activities grants programme, to provide support to vulnerable young people in the city’s regeneration areas.

Despite being a relatively affluent area overall, Oxford has pockets of deprivation. Eighteen of Oxford’s 83 small areas were defined as deprived by the Government in September 2015, with part of Blackbird Leys and Rose Hill named as amongst the most deprived 10 per cent of areas in England.                             

Councillor Delia Sinclair, Executive Board Member for Culture and Communities, said: “Oxford’s community and voluntary sector is a lifeline for families all across the city. I am delighted that Oxford City Council has agreed another £1.4m to help their crucial work.”

“I’m also really pleased that we have been able to provide more financial security for Oxford’s vital community and voluntary groups by providing the option to apply for three-year funding.”

A final decision on the community grant programme will be made by the City Council’s Full Council.