COMMUNITY groups around the city have been awarded a total of £40,327.

The Community Chest grants from Southampton City Council have been handed to organisations with an income of less than £50,000 per year.

The council says it has increased funding for small-grant schemes because “it recognises and values the vital role that local groups from across the city play in strengthening their communities”.

Successful applicants included a community bike hub in Sholing which will use the cash to fund an electric van; a youth theatre group who will make a short film about cyber bullying; a Sea Cadet Corps who want to improve their facilities; a Sunday lunch club for the vulnerable run by volunteers; a community allotment who will improve their water collection; a community orchard in Merryoak; and a group of local skateboarders who will put on a public event in Guildhall Square.

Councillor Dave Shields said: “The Community Chest grant can make a huge difference to community and voluntary organisations that are delivering a range of fantastic services within their local communities. I would strongly encourage local groups an annual income of less than £50,000 to submit an application for the next round of the grant.”

Josh Allen from Monty’s Bike Hub, added: “Two years ago, the council’s Community Chest grant enabled us to start Monty’s Bike Hub, so we could buy tools and equipment to begin our bicycle recycling social enterprise on Montague Avenue Estate.

“We have grown since then, now working with local kids and adults to run two sessions a week, selling lots of bikes and delivering cycle training and family cycle rides. We hope to use this year’s funds to become mobile by getting an electric van or cargo bike. This will enable us to support other communities with bike workshop sessions, while enabling us to raise an income and giving our local young people vital work experience opportunities in other areas of the city.”

The closing date for the next round of Community Chest Grant is noon on October 31, 2018.

To apply for the grant, go to Southampton City Council’s website and search Community Chest.