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Politics Swansea West Wales

Nearly £500k to support 237 projects to help with Christmas events

COUNCIL officers in Swansea have been thanked for dishing out more than 230 grants in a matter of days in the run-up to Christmas.

The authority had £500,000 up for grabs to support food and activity projects and venues which operated as warm spaces in the winter.

A council committee heard the funding paid for Christmas events which would otherwise not have taken place and 237 projects had shared £497,281 – an average of just over £2,000 each.

The council-funded enabling communities grants, as they are known, were launched on November 1 last year. A council panel met on November 30 and payments to successful applicants began a week later.

A council officer said an estimated 30,000 people had benefited from the funding. He said of the scheme: “It got resources into communities of need.”

He added that an evaluation of the outcomes was currently being carried out.

Cllr Alyson Anthony, cabinet member for wellbeing, praised staff for getting the money out so quickly. “So many people have benefited,” she said. “It’s unbelievable the difference it has made.”

Cllr Lesley Walton said the grant scheme had been a success given that almost all of the available £500,000 had been awarded. “Two hundred and thirty seven projects have benefited from this – I can’t say any more than that,” she said.

Cllr Ceri Evans, who chaired the social care and tackling poverty committee meeting, said he was interested in seeing the results of the evaluation. “To everybody involved – well done,” he said.