Community projects that will help Lewisham recover from the Covid-19 pandemic will be able to bid for community infrastructure levy (CIL) funding from May this year.  

Councils can apply a levy to developments in the borough – the money is to mitigate their impact and goes towards improving local infrastructure.   

CIL rules allow the council to set aside 15 per cent of the funds – 25 per cent in areas with an adopted neighbourhood plan – to spend on priorities that should be agreed with the local community. This is known as Neighbourhood CIL.   

At a mayor and cabinet meeting in March, 2020, councillors agreed that more than half a million of the borough-wide fund should go towards mentoring services for children and young people, tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, and helping people with disabilities and mental health issues find jobs.  

£100,000 of the pot was allocated to air quality initiatives.    

On March 10 of this year Lewisham’s mayor and cabinet approved a CIL top up of £396,161, collected between 2018 and 2020, bringing the total pot available for projects to nearly £1 million (£977,094).  

An extra priority was also approved at the meeting, which means projects that seek to help the borough’s recovery from the pandemic will also be eligible to apply for funding.    

An open call for projects is set to be launched in mid to late May of this year and will run for eight to ten weeks.  

Projects, which could receive between £10,000 and £100,000, should be submitted to the council via the NCIL email, which will be made available before the open call.  

Following this, officers will decide on which projects to choose over a period of between six to eight weeks from August. 

Councillor Paul Bell, cabinet member for housing and planning, presented the report to mayor and cabinet.   

He said the new priority is “intended to support communities to recover, rebuild, and adapt, which is vital in supporting our communities’ current and future needs”.  

“In line with the previous agreed borough-wide priorities, projects will need to demonstrate how it will benefit communities on a borough-wide level or across two or more wards within the borough,” he added.