A project that will support the wellbeing and recovery of victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and trauma has been chosen to receive funding from Bath and North East Somerset Council.
The charity VOICES was granted £47,214 in Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding to support a new Safe Space Centre to deliver specialist/ specific services responding to Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG).
Members of the public were asked to help decide which of five projects should receive community funding in a consultation earlier this year. Their feedback was included in the Advisory Board meeting at which eight Bath ward councillors make the funding decisions, approved by Councillor Kevin Guy, council leader, in a single member decision.
Councillor Kevin Guy said, “This is the first time Bath residents have been asked to help support ward councillors in making the CIL funding decisions and I’m pleased to say we had an excellent response to the consultation with more than 70 responses. The new Safe Space Centre will help to address the increased need for trauma support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence within the city of Bath.”
The CIL funding will support the operation and maintenance of dedicated premises, a Safe Space Centre, which will address the social and well-being needs created by new development and associated general and student population growth across the city.
VOICES said, “We are delighted to know that local residents along with council representatives have chosen our centre to be supported by the CIL Fund, and by helping VOICES in this way, appreciate the signal this sends to people affected by domestic abuse that their community supports them in their recovery.”
The centre will host services for Bath residents and the wider community. They will benefit from both the direct support available on site and from increased safety and wellbeing as it impacts children, family, friends and work colleagues of victims and survivors. It will also help in developing best practice and improving services across the city, through consultation with survivors.
The funding will be split over two years with £23,607 provided per year.
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a planning charge, introduced by the Planning Act 2008 as a tool for local authorities in England and Wales to help deliver infrastructure to support the development of their area.
From the overall CIL that is collected,15% is allocated to The Neighbourhood Portion of CIL for Bath.
Since its introduction, The Neighbourhood Portion of CIL for Bath has allocated over £1.2 million to 39 projects.