ARTS, culture, heritage and voluntary groups are being invited to bid for funding for the third year running.

Two pots of £20K and one pot of £30K are available for community programmes to run activities over 12 months, with the aim of engaging local people in order to have a significant positive impact on their wellbeing.

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Successful bidders must work with one or more of the target priority groups identified.

Funds are available for arts, culture or heritage projects which help:

·Older people at risk of loneliness and social isolation: 20k co-funded by Berkshire Community Foundation.

Projects must use arts, culture or heritage activities to combat loneliness and social isolation for older people who face the greatest barriers to engagement in the community and in the arts.

·Creative Employment: 30k match funded by Brighter Futures for Children, for creative projects working with young people who are not in education, employment or training, with a focus on particular provision for young people with autistic spectrum disorders and/or special educational needs and disabilities.

Projects must provide meaningful work experience within a creative industry.

·Women at risk: 20k co-funded by Berkshire Community Foundation, for projects that deliver high quality cultural and creative activities for disadvantaged women, in particular those who are at risk of modern slavery, exploitation, domestic violence and abuse, sexual assault and social isolation.

Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s lead member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I’m excited, as we move into the third year of this fantastic project, to see the potential for even more local groups flourish.

"I’d encourage interested groups to contact us for more information on the funding available and to register with the council’s electronic tendering portal InTend as the funds will go live for applications in mid to late September.

“We know that engaging in arts and cultural activities has a wide reaching beneficial impact on people’s health; improving recovery from illness, promoting community spirit, combatting loneliness and relieving the pressure on GP services."

The purpose of the fund is to enable arts, culture and heritage organisations to change how they work with the voluntary, community sectors and public services, to collaboratively contribute to meeting local social objectives.

For more information or any questions contact