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Applications Open for University Community Fund

On Wednesday 24 January, the University of St Andrews opened applications for the first round of its 2024 Community Fund, which financially supports grassroots projects and charities in Fife. 

The University stated in a press release, “Our University Community Fund enables the University to listen to ideas, adapt to local needs, and provide financial support to deliver tangible benefits for the wider community.” 

Groups can receive grants between £250 and £3000 for projects that benefit the local community through the promotion of diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, education and participation, Fife’s physical or cultural heritage, or the connection between the community and the University.  

This round of funding was announced by Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Sally Mapstone, at a community project showcase a week prior to the opening of applications. 

Professor Mapstone stated that the University of St Andrews is committing £30,000 per year to the Community Fund over three rounds, with private donations boosting the size of the fund.

Over its three years in operation, the Community Fund has awarded £230,000 to 120 local groups and charities. The initiative was a response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local area in alignment with the University’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, which included a strong emphasis on social responsibility. A 2022 Community Connections release stated that the University knew that “local organisations would be key to any community’s response and recovery from the pandemic.” 

Past projects that have successfully secured support from the Community Fund include the Fife International Forum’s establishment of a ‘Conversation Cafe’ for migrant communities to improve mental health, the Friends of Craigtoun’s restoration of the Lodge Garden located just outside of St Andrews, and Lucky Ewe’s construction of accessibility modifications on their farm.  

The application website indicates that, for this round, the fund panel is particularly interested in projects relating to environmental sustainability. Groups must apply for this year's round of the Community Fund by 15 March 2024. 

Image by University of St Andrews

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