Cash on the table if you want to tackle binge drinking

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A new £1 million fund to give local communities the tools they need to tackle binge and underage drinking is now open.

Up to ten areas in England will get the money and extra resources for projects to make their neighbourhoods safer and better places to live.

Successful applicants will need to set out how community groups, local residents, the police and retailers are integral to the action they propose to take.

The strongest bids will also include health and education services and alcohol industry representatives and work with young people to arrive at effective solutions.

The expectation is that these projects will lead to a direct reduction in local anti-social behaviour and that their experiences will be shared nationally.

Government community champion Baroness Newlove said: “The crime and antisocial behaviour that comes in the wake of underage and binge drinking drags places down, spreading fear and anxiety in communities in place of satisfaction and pride.

“Everyone should have the right to live in a safe, clean environment for themselves and their children. It is a basic right and one that this fund will help deliver if enough people have the passion and will to make it happen.

“The rules are simple. You must prove you have the backing and support of the local authority, police, education and those who sell alcohol to succeed. But most importantly that your bid has been developed around the expressed views of the local community. They need to be part of the solution and must be given a direct say in choosing projects the money supports.

“I’ve seen how successful working together can be when everybody engages and there are some great grassroots projects already getting to grips with problem drinking. But I also I want to see further new ideas and fresh thinking. I want to see real team work that the rest of the country can follow.”

The fund will be available to local authorities to spend over a two-year period in approximately ten communities, with each receiving in the region of £45,000 per year. Applicants are also encouraged to indicate within their overall application, any separate community project work which, in the event of an unsuccessful bid, could receive a smaller amount of funding – approximately £10,000.

The Alcohol Fund Prospectus and bidding form for applicants can be found at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/communities/alcoholprospectus