Great news! Weymouth has made the shortlist!
Trying to get funding into Weymouth from external grants is not easy. There are fewer grants around and more and more groups applying for them and they are getting harder to get. My fingernails are long gone.
Weymouth Area Development Trust has been involved with the Weymouth Coastal Community Team, since before it was born in 2016. the CCT came out of a local partnership group that involved businesses and local government in Weymouth. These people gave up their time to look at ways to leverage funding into the Town. They endorsed various projects to apply for grants, but when it came to the BIG one..the Coastal Communities Fund, four rounds of grants did not come our way.
The feedback was the Government wanted to see something collaborative, with people working together and not competing against each other. So this time, when it was announced in February 2018 that CCF Round 5 was open, the Weymouth CCT put together one collaborative project for the town. The criteria is creating jobs and regenerating Coastal Towns. The Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project is a joint bid, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council (as the land owner) and Weymouth Area Development Trust (as a community led not for profit organisation) on behalf of the Coastal Community Team.
Applying for grants is a long winded affair and you have to have a lot of patience. This CCF grant requires each town to submit their idea (Stage 1), and compete with other Coastal Towns to make a short list. There were over 250 entries, so many that the Ministry took three months longer than expected to process them. Whilst they were deciding, we got on with creating the Starfish Enterprise CoWork Hub as ‘proof of concept’ that there is a way to practically support small businesses in a Coastal Town, and create employment. The Councillors and Richard Drax MP did their political thing and met with the Minister Jake Berry, to put the case for Weymouth.
So we are delighted, with our partners, to have been successful, and be shortlisted for Stage 2.
Now we have a very short window of 8 WORKING WEEKS, to get such a brilliant, detailed, costed, bid together that the Ministry of Health, Community and Local Government Coastal wouldn’t dare turn us down. No pressure!:)
The Government hope to announce which Towns have been successful, early summer 2019.
Thanks to all the business people and organisations, in particular Weymouth Bid, Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce, Weymouth College, Dorset Councils Partnership Economic Development Team and the ‘Assets and Infrastructure Team’ (snappy title guys), and the Economic Briefholders for the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, and everyone else that has had an input. You got us this far, now for the final push.