Great Aycliffe Town Council is putting £100k from its vast reserves aside for a new Covid recovery fund.
The local authority said it made a “substantial saving” on its revenue budget last year and a significant proportion of the surplus was made up of ‘one-off’ savings that came about directly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“This was largely as a consequence of services that did not take place during the year, including the unfortunate cancellation of the vast proportion of the council’s community events programme,” added a statement.
The Town Council has therefore agreed to set aside £100,000 from the revenue budget saving in a ‘Covid-19 Recovery Reserve’.
This fund will seek to pass these savings back to the local community via one-off investments during the 2021/22 financial year, to help “compensate local taxpayers for the services that have not taken place this year”.
There will be four strands to the Covid-19 Recovery Fund, as follows:
• A £25,000 Community Grants Fund to provide financial assistance to local organisations to help them recover from the pandemic.
• A Recreation Fund to make investment in recreational activities and events.
• An Environment Fund to make investments in environmental improvements such as tree and bulb planting and creation of wildflower meadows.
• Funds to undertake improvement of the former Elmfield School site, subject to a lease being agreed with Durham County Council.
Applications are invited from local community groups for grants from this fund and applications forms are available by calling 01325 300700 or emailing [email protected].