Community groups in Portsmouth are being asked to claim their share of tens of thousands of pounds worth of support set to be available in the city.
Portsmouth City Council is asking groups to come forward and say what help they need so it can partner them with businesses that will help, free of charge.
The work is part of a new social value policy which means companies working on council contracts will be required to give more back to the local community. This can be through donating equipment to community organisations, volunteering, providing training, creating opportunities for local employment, and giving opportunities to disadvantaged groups such as the disabled, ethnic minorities and young people.
Cllr Chris Attwell, the council’s Cabinet Member for Communities & Central Services, said: “Local communities are at the centre of everything we do, as we come out of the pandemic, we want to continue growing our support for them so our city can thrive. We want community groups to come forward and tell us what would benefit them, so we can find the best way to provide support through the companies we are working with.”
In less than a year, the council has already secured commitments that will see a £40m injection into Portsmouth’s economy in addition to the creation of more than 100 local jobs, £59,000 of equipment for voluntary organisations, 7,000 hours of volunteering, 2,500 tonnes of waste recycled rather than added to landfill and a host of other benefits.
Cottage Grove Primary School has already benefited from the programme, having received support from Hughes & Salvidge, a company working on a nearby council regeneration project.
Lee Branscombe, the headteacher at Cottage Grove, said: “Cottage Grove is in a deprived area, so it’s important our environment is something children and staff can feel proud of. We have a limited budget for maintenance and upkeep, but Hughes & Salvidge’s support has helped deliver significant improvements to some of our outdoor space, and we’re hoping to work with them on more projects. Support like this makes a massive difference to our school and helps show children what it means to be part of a community.
Will Spong, Hughes & Salvidge’s business development executive, said: “I’m delighted we were able to help Cottage Grove Primary School, we understand the importance of local communities and want to make a difference here. Companies shouldn’t just be looking to come into Portsmouth to make some money and leave, we want a long-term relationship with the council and the city as a whole and this support is part of that.”
Community groups or businesses wanting to get involved should email firstname.lastname@example.org.