Leading the way for East Riding of Yorkshire communities

“We had used previous Idox software and knew the system would be of a high standard and provide everything we needed in order to support community groups. We received an overview of how the system is kept up to date by the team of researchers which we felt was invaluable and certainly nothing like what we could replicate within our External Funding Team.”

Jo-Anne Bell, Funding Development Co-ordinator, East Riding of Yorkshire Council 

East Riding of Yorkshire Council was established as an unitary authority in 1996, covering an area of 930 square miles with over 340,000 residents . In 2018 the council launched a new vision statement to help meet its challenges and make the most of opportunities, now and in the future.

East Riding 4 Community

As long-time subscribers of Idox funding products, East Riding of Yorkshire Council started using the Open 4 Community service in 2013.

The External Funding team who are part of the Economic Development Service within the council, support internal council officers and community or voluntary groups who are looking for funding – covering everything from sports clubs, churches, schools, and everything in between.

Jo-Anne Bell, Funding Development Co-ordinator at the Council, comments on the reasons why they chose Open 4 Community to help them support their work with communities:

“We had used previous Idox software and knew the system would be of a high standard and provide everything we needed in order to support community groups. We received an overview of how the system is kept up to date by the team of researchers which we felt was invaluable and certainly nothing like what we could replicate within our External Funding Team.”

The Council’s Open 4 Community portal – East Riding 4 Community (ER4C) – enables the external funding team to meet their service plan objective to equip communities to bid for funding and work with the Council to enable communities to successfully bid to manage local assets.

Open 4 Community in action

“We sign post organisations and groups who are looking to applying for funding to the portal. We use online grant application forms and all links to the forms are also built into our schemes on the portal. On a monthly basis we analyse the usage statistics.”

The external funding team also ensure that all their colleagues and beneficiaries are aware of the Open 4 Community service through links to the portal in email signatures. There is also a ‘Grants and Funding’ page on the Council’s website where ER4C is listed as a resource providing easy access.

The key features and functionality that the Council find most useful are the breadth of quality content available on the database and that the data is updated in real time, providing a time-saving one-stop-shop for funding information.

Speaking about the design and usability of the product Jo-Anne Bell says: “When we demonstrate the portal at events, potential users can’t believe how easy it is to use and how much information is at their fingertips.”

Grants success: over £3m funding secured

Since implementing Open 4 Community, grants identified through the portal has been used for the following projects:

  • Replacement of a play park at the total cost £76,000
  • Cricket coaching for a primary school
  • Purchase of kit and training aids for a new walking football team
  • Refurbishment of a church schoolroom
  • Toilet refurbishment
  • Minibus purchase
  • Building a sports pavilion 

Findings from an East Riding Council survey show that respondents reported a total income of over £3 million since January 2015.

“We are very happy with the East Riding 4 Community portal and our recent survey results show how valuable it is in the community – thank you for all your hard work keeping it so up to date and user friendly.”

As well as delivering time and resource savings, Open 4 Community is renowned for its extensive funding content, easy-to-use functionality, and reporting capabilities. This all-round offer of information, experience and expertise is what enables UK’s leading public sector bodies, private businesses, and charitable and voluntary sector organisations to identify and secure the most relevant funding for their projects.

For more information about how Open 4 Community is helping organisations maximise their funding potential, request a demo here.

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