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Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund

The Social Infrastructure Fund offers community groups the chance to apply for up to £250,000 grant to continue the incredible work that’s been going on throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Groups across Norfolk have supported their communities in a variety of ways, from food and deliveries to tackling loneliness through befriending schemes.

Council leader, Councillor Andrew Proctor, said: “Community groups have played a sterling role in supporting Norfolk throughout the coronavirus pandemic. This new, annual fund will help them to strengthen our communities, by providing support for local buildings and facilities.”

As we seek to do more work with communities through business transformation to improve resilience of communities it is increasingly important we support the development of infrastructure which benefits local groups and voluntary sector organisations.

Funds are available to support capital projects required to transform facilities inline for physical distancing, for new equipment necessary to serve local communities, and to enhance or replace significant parts of an asset.

Explore whether your community group may be eligible by reading the terms and conditions. The Social Infrastructure Fund Cabinet paper is also available with further details on the make-up of the fund.

2020 successful applicants

The successful applicants for funding from Norfolk County Council’s Social Infrastructure Fund have been announced, receiving a total of £1 million to support community organisations across Norfolk.

In June this year Norfolk County Council launched the Social Infrastructure Fund, an annual £1 million fund to support the capital projects of voluntary and community organisations across Norfolk. The fund aims to help organisations across the county to improve or increase the support they offer to local communities through the development of capital projects, including buildings, the purchase of new equipment or the improvement of existing assets. This year, 9 successful applicants receive funding totalling £1 million to support their capital projects and ensure that they can continue to carry out the incredible work that’s been going on throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The Social Infrastructure Fund was created to support the development of infrastructure which benefits local groups and voluntary sector organisations. This year’s funding has focused on helping organisations respond to the capital changes that may be required as part of their Covid response.

The full list of recipients includes:

  • About With Friends
  • Big C
  • Keystone Development Trust
  • Kinetic Science Foundation
  • Nancy Oldfield Trust
  • The Nest, Community Sports Foundation
  • Overstrand Parish Council
  • Priscilla Bacon Norfolk Hospice Care Ltd
  • Weeting Village Hall

Andrew Proctor, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “The new Social Infrastructure Fund is a significant investment into the capital projects of local community groups in Norfolk. It’s a long-term strategy to empower communities to help those who need support, and to increase the provision of facilities for all community activities.

This year, the fund has focused on the volunteers, community groups and charities across the county that have been at the forefront of responding to the rapidly changing needs of local communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic. We’re delighted to partner with all of the successful applicants in developing their services to their local communities.”

Two of the largest recipients, The Nest and Nancy Oldfield Trust, below outline how the their successful application will impact their work, improving their services and increasing their capacity to meet the needs of vulnerable individuals and communities in Norfolk.

Centre Manager of the Nancy Oldfield Trust, Stephen Bradnock said, “This absolutely fantastic grant from the Norfolk County Council Social Infrastructure Fund will enable us to start immediately offering brand new activities for our visitors this winter and in to 2021. The impact of the pandemic on the Trust’s ability to provide accessible boating for disabled and disadvantaged people has been very significant and we have been working hard to find ways of diversifying our activities to enable us to take more visitors out on to the water. In particular, we wanted to find activities that would appeal to anyone wanting to increase their physical activity and who have been particularly affected by lockdown and the impact of coronavirus on their physical and mental health and general well-being.

The grant will allow us to purchase two locally made pedal boats for visitors who want to explore the Broads under their own steam. Families and individuals will also be able to get some gentle exercise at the same time! We will also be buying three Hansa 303 dinghies to add to our fleet of yachts as well as a giant standup paddleboard capable of carrying up to 10 people at a time including wheelchair users. Many of our visitors who saw us trying out this new activity on a borrowed board in the late summer have already signed up to having a go!

This grant will be very significant in enabling us to continue to offer activities to all our visitors as we adjust to the long-term impact of the Coronavirus on everyday life. The opportunities that the new boats will enable us to offer are particularly suited to small groups, families and individuals. Over the last two months we have had more inquiries from people wanting to escape on to the Broads with us than we have been able to deliver. We are all tremendously excited about the new activities we will be offering and very grateful for this amazing grant award.”

Jackie Thornton – Head of Development at the Community Sports Foundation said "The funds we’ve received from Norfolk County Council Infrastructure will allow us to build two incredible additions to The Nest, our community hub on the outskirts of Norwich; a stunning outdoor wooden play space built into the woods on our site - complete with access and activities for those with disabilities - as well as a state-of-the-art IT suite in the main building.

In a difficult time, the Challenge Wood will allow children and adults across a range of our programmes to reconnect with outdoors spaces, learn new skills and build new bonds, while the IT suite will be invaluable in helping people with back-to-work programmes, apprenticeships and educational courses."

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