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Applications now open for Cost of Living Grant scheme

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has launched its new £50k Cost of Living Grant scheme to help organisations that are supporting people who are struggling with rising costs.

It is available to a range of groups, including charities, not for profit and voluntary organisations, parish and town councils, and schools as part of their wider community work.

Groups can bid for up to £1,000, and the applications can be for up to 100 percent of the total cost of a project. Any organisations looking to run larger projects can contact their local community engagement officer by visiting

To find out more and to apply for a grant, visit

The move follows a special meeting of the Test Valley Partnership in August, which was hosted jointly by leader of TVBC, Councillor Phil North, and leader of the opposition, Councillor Celia Dowden. The meeting brought together a host of different organisations, including Citizens Advice Test Valley, Hampshire County Council, Department for Work and Pensions, Andover Foodbank and Romsey Community Services.

Following the meeting, the council set up a Cost of Living Support Hub, which provides useful information and signposts people to the various agencies and groups that can offer a range of help, from local food banks to financial advice. The information can be found at

The partnership also agreed to take forward various other actions and projects over the coming months that will help organisations to provide targeted aid to residents and make it as easy as possible for people to access the support they need when they need it.

Leader of TVBC, Councillor Phil North, said: “It is so important that we all work together to ensure that organisations on the frontline can support those in need. I would urge any groups that are providing cost of living help to take a look at the website as soon as possible.”

Leader of the opposition, Councillor Celia Dowden, added: “This fund will provide critical support to the groups and organisations impacted most by the increasing demand on their services due to the rising cost of living. We are working closely with partners across the borough to ensure that those feeling the strain have access to the help they require, whether they are the organisations providing the services, or those accessing them.”