Bid to make Barnet ‘borough of fun’

New council grant funding will support community events and celebrate Barnet’s diversity, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

A lady celebrates
credit Clay Banks via Unsplash

Barnet Council is set to launch a £120,000 grant funding scheme for community events to help celebrate diversity and make the borough “feel more fun”.

Town hall chiefs say holding more community events will support a new vision to make Barnet a “borough of fun” and “a destination borough with a rich and diverse cultural offer”.

The council wants to undertake “a year-long programme of community engagement and capacity building to enable more community events”, which it claims will “foster community cohesion and celebrate the culture of our borough”.

It has set aside £120,000 to be spent on events from a pot of money raised from developers to fund local improvements.

Grant funding will be made available to community groups and be promoted around “a set calendar of significant religious or cultural festivals and awareness dates”. The 2023 events calendar includes International Women’s Day, Ramadan and Eid al Fitr, King Charles III’s coronation, Pride Month and South Asian Heritage Month.

According to a council report, a “diverse and representative” funding panel will agree funding bids based on published criteria.

The report states that trials of the new approach during Black History Month and the council’s winter festival programme significantly increased the number of events taking place around the borough.

The council’s new civic and community events policy was presented to a meeting of the community leadership and libraries committee on Tuesday (7th) and was unanimously agreed by councillors. It states that the local authority will “work in partnership with all communities to co-create an inclusive programme of events where all our communities feel celebrated, listened to and included”.

The policy is designed to support the council’s new corporate plan, which town hall chiefs say will “set out a vision to make Barnet a borough of fun, where those who live and work have opportunities to enjoy life and celebrate the things that are important to them”.

It also sets out the events that the council plans to mark by raising flags and lighting up the town hall.

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