Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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2.6 million pounds worth of bids submitted to PCC's Grant Fund
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has received applications for the 2018/19 Grant Fund totalling over £2.6 million worth of bids to help victims and reduce crime in Bedfordshire.

The application process for the Grant Fund was officially launched at the start of the year (Wednesday 3 January) and closed on Monday 19 February resulting in 76 applications having been received.

“For the second year running I have around twice the amount of grants’ applications as available funds. On the positive side this means that more people than ever before are aware of the possibility of grant funding for projects from the Commissioner’s Fund. I will see every single application myself and then there will be a moderation process to score the projects followed by grants panels for all of the higher value applications,” said Commissioner Holloway.

For the first time, Commissioning Surgeries were introduced during the application window, which allowed 22 representatives, from organisations wishing to make bids, to speak with the PCC’s commissioning team to find out more about the process and how best to apply for funding.

The PCC’s Grant Fund is created by combining a grant from the Ministry of Justice and funding from the Bedfordshire Police Force budget producing a flexible and accessible grant opportunity aimed at promoting innovative and collaborative working across Bedfordshire.

“I've introduced two cross-cutting themes this year which each and every project must demonstrate - ways in which they will help to reduce the demand on Bedfordshire Police and ways in which they will build confidence in the Force, both to support my Police and Crime Plan and ease the strain on a notoriously thinly stretched blue line.

“I’m also extremely keen to support projects which offer young children better life chances and which help to turn slightly older young people away from gangs and a life of crime. These are priorities for me along with protecting families against domestic violence and other abuse and providing them with a safe haven and support to move forward to build whole and happy lives,” added the PCC.

The process is still ongoing with the Commissioning team currently assessing bids whereby 24 of the 76 applicants will then be invited next month (12 – 26 March) to present to a panel of experts from across Bedfordshire who will then decide if any of the £1.6 million of grant funding will be allocated to them.

“It’s hugely important to me that this is seen as a fair, open and transparent process and I have around 24 hours of grants’ panels ahead of me! There will be representation from black, minority, ethnic groups, victims, young people, both genders and transgender panel members as well as those from the Police and Crime Panel who hold me to account, to hear applications along with the Bedfordshire Victims Partnership. This isn’t about tokenism it’s about making sure that as wide a range of views as possible is available to help guide me to spend public money in the wisest ways possible,” said the Commissioner.