Westfield Offers Grants of Up to £1,000 to Local Community Groups

New grant panel set to offer funds to 20 organisations this year

Small community groups based in Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea could receive a £1,000 boost from a new scheme run by Westfield London.

The Shepherd's Bush shopping centre is launching a new community grants initiative as part of its expansion plans. The scheme will support local organisations who are looking for funding of up to £1,000, with up to 20 projects being selected per year over the next two years.

The community grants scheme is designed to focus specifically on a diverse array of projects and individuals from our borough, and aims to make a significant difference within our local neighbourhoods.

A new community grants panel, led by representatives from local businesses, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, local organisations and Westfield London, will meet twice annually to decide where funds will be directed, based on bids received.

At each round of funding the panel will judge bids based on applications on three separate themes:

Innovative and creative approaches to employment and training;

Opportunities for young people aged 16-24

And support for people with disabilities or health problems.

In addition to fitting in with at least one of these themes, successful applicants will be required to show that they are based locally in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham or the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and they will have to submit a detailed breakdown of how the money will be spent and what objectives the funding will help them to achieve.

Westfield London currently provides 12,000 jobs, both as a direct employer and with its retail employers and the proposed retail and residential expansion will create a further 8,000 jobs.

Westfield says it has taken a proactive approach to engaging with the local community since it opened in 2008.. The Westfield London Jobs & Training Advisory Panel was set up in 2012 in order to suport employment and training at Westfield London and its surrounding communities.

Since 2012, the wider White City Opportunity Area has developed further with even more jobs in the pipeline for local people in the area.

As part of the new plans, the Work Zone will receive a further £600,000 worth of funding. The Work Zone, which is based on site at Westfield London in the Shepherd’s Bush Library, was set up to assist retailers and contractors to recruit locally, and to alert residents and jobseekers to available jobs and to assist jobseekers to gain access to the right employment and skills training for jobs at the shopping centre.

Commenting on the launch of the panel, Duncan Bower, Director of Development at Westfield, said: Westfield London has had a transformative impact on the W12 area, delivering 12,000 jobs and £2.3 bn of investment to this part of London since opening in 2008.

" As we embark upon the next phase in this success story we want to make sure that the success of this investment is felt as widely as possible in the White City area. Westfield has a good track record in working with local organisations and the establishment of the grants panel will build on this."

Panellist Emma Morgan, Manager at Big Local, said: " At Big Local we are dedicated to supporting the development of local people’s skills and talent and I believe that Westfield’s community grants panel will play an important part in encouraging this and investing in our vibrant and diverse local community.

" As part of the grants panel we look forward to working with a range of local organisations as they submit bids for funding."

For more information on the community grants scheme please visit Westfield London's website.