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Hampshire County Council is calling for anyone with an idea on how to bring the Armed Forces community and their wider community together to put a bid in for funding from a new Government initiative.
Nationally, up to £30million has been set aside over four years, by the Ministry of Defence, to help communities develop projects that promote greater understanding or closer ties between military and civilian populations.
The Community Covenant Grant Scheme is open to all parts of the Hampshire community including volunteer groups, schools and charities for projects.
The main criteria for a grant is that the initiative has a clear benefit to both the Armed Forces and their local community.
This could be anything from an activity camp involving young people and the armed forces, to a children's playground or an exhibition showcasing the recent activity of the local Armed Forces unit. Bids can be made for funding from £100 to £250,000.
Councillor Ken Thornber, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said:
"In Hampshire there is strong support and recognition for the bravery and dedication of our Armed Forces.
"This funding could help develop projects that build even closer ties between the service and civilian communities and provide activities, services or infrastructure that benefits all in the locality.
"I would encourage anyone who has project in mind to submit a bid.
"The Hampshire community is in a strong position to secure funding from this new initiative because it is only open to those areas with a Community Covenant in place.
"Hampshire was one of the first areas to sign up showing our ongoing commitment to supporting the Armed Forces in the county."
The Community Covenant aims to encourage all parties within a community to offer support to the local Armed Forces community and make it easier for Service personnel, families and veterans to access the help and support available from the Ministry of Defence, statutory providers and the charitable and voluntary sector.
The scheme is intended to be a two-way arrangement and the Armed Forces community are encouraged to do as much as they can to support their community and promote activity which integrates the Service community into civilian life.
The first round of applications need to be in by 22 September 2011.
Bids should be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org . All bids will then be considered by the Community Covenant Partnership Panel, which is made up of representatives from the three Armed Forces and Hampshire County Council. Applications that are endorsed by the Panel will then be submitted to the Government for final consideration.
Guidance on submitting a bid can be found at www.hants.gov.uk/covenant-grant-scheme