In July, we launched our £1m Stockport Local Fund to support the community and  voluntary sector in Stockport and help to build resilient, active and caring communities. To enable community investing on this scale we determined that the application process should be entirely online.

The Digital by Design team worked closely with us to develop an end to end digital process that would minimise the administrative overhead by collating information on groups and simultaneously integrating it into Verint, our case management system.

The first round of funding closed in early August and we have been able to incorporate some of the experience we gained through that initial round into preparations for the second application window, which is now open and will remain open until January 6th 2019.

High volume of applications

During the first round of funding we received 186 applications with the total applied for coming to over £900,000. Each application was unique and highlighted the tremendous contribution that the voluntary and community sector makes in Stockport.

The decision making process to determine which projects would receive funding was a mammoth task and not an easy one, but it was facilitated by the digital processes which enabled us to pull out and compare data from all applications.

From this initial round, we invested just over £130,000 in 24 excellent projects that will make a significant difference in communities across Stockport.  The projects are all very different and offer a range of activities and programmes.  You can read about some of them in our News Releases:

The first great ideas that will make a difference
Ideas to inspire you to apply

Making a difference

This is an exciting programme, where the scope of ideas we will fund is broad, the ideas funded are innovative and often disrupt traditional ways of thinking. By designing the online application form to be simple, intuitive and user friendly, we have opened the door to the many great ideas people have for their community.

It has been a privilege to visit some of the projects and organisations across Stockport over the last few weeks, where I have been met with an incredible amount of enthusiasm and determination that drives forward some truly life changing projects. 

There is another round open now with a closing date of the 6th Jan and there will be more opportunities to apply in the future.  For regular updates on the fund, including future application dates, sign up for email alerts.