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West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster is releasing more than £166,000 to help communities in the West Midlands make their areas safer.

The money, which is made up from cash that police have seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, will be allocated to organisations that want to invest in their neighbourhoods.

Up to £5,000 will be given to individual groups, who are doing something for the benefit of their community. The scheme is now known as the Helping Communities Fund (HCF), but was previously known as the Active Citizens Fund.

Its purpose is to support locally based projects, which aim to make a positive difference and which make the West Midlands a safer place to live, learn or work.  All funded projects will contribute to crime prevention and reduction, and community safety in the local area. 

The fund, which has already seen more than £500,000 handed out to community groups across the West Midlands, is open to applications from today.

Bids, which are now submitted completely online, must be submitted by noon on 29 December 2023. Unfortunately, late applications will not be accepted.

Final decisions on those who have been successful will be made around 12 February 2024.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “I would encourage groups from across all areas to apply for funding.

“At a time when the cost of living is spiralling it is right that there is funding to support grassroots organisations that prevent crime, violence and anti-social behaviour and support vulnerable victims in our communities.

“The Helping Communities Fund has enabled locally based projects and programmes to obtain funding for crime prevention and reduction and community safety work across the West Midlands.

“Further funding is being made available to tackle issues that matter most to our communities. This funding is made available from money taken from criminals and those who seek to cause harm to our communities, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. It’s then allocated to support local projects and activities in neighbourhoods from across the West Midlands.

“Many community-led initiatives are benefitting from this investment. However, the Helping Communities Fund also involves communities in deciding which bids are successful in receiving this money. I encourage everyone to consider applying, to help make the West Midlands an even safer place to live, learn and work.”

This year, the application form has been simplified with a dedicated online web form created to make the process easier.

You can also find out more about the process here.

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