A COUNCIL will be awarding over £100,000 in community grants over the next three years.

Lewes District Council is opening a new bidding process next month that will enable a range of groups to apply for funding after it adopted a new community grants policy.

The council have also agreed to increase the community grants budget by £35,000 annually, taking the total from £228,000 to £263,000.

This increase includes a rise in advice services support and a new category that will encourage green and open spaces, which will help promote wellbeing.

Applications for these awards will open from August 2 to October 1, and they will be awarded annually from April 2022 in three-year cycles.

Councillor Johnny Denis, a cabinet member for Communities and Customers, said: "This significant increase in funding recognises the immense contribution the voluntary sector makes across Lewes district.

"And I am delighted that our new approach to allocating this funding allows us to support an increased number of these organisations in a more transparent and focused way.

The Argus: Councillor Johnny DenisCouncillor Johnny Denis

"While these areas are broadly in line with our previous community grants policy, I am pleased we have added an extra allocation to focus on support for mental health and sustainability projects.

"Additionally, we expect applicants in this round of funding to demonstrate what part they will play in the district's recovery from the pandemic."

Community grants will be allocated across five different areas. The first area is advice services such as benefits, Universal Credit, debt and money, housing and general advice.

Another area is infrastructure services which will help support the development of the voluntary sector, those seeking funding, ensuring the best practice and supporting the startups of new groups.

Funding will also help services that support mental health and those that contribute to sustainability and the environment.

Homeless prevention and sustainable accommodation services will also be supported and services that help specific groups that may experience discrimination or disadvantage by promoting fairness and inclusion.