New opportunity to get developers’ cash for community projects in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 07:14 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 07:14 09 September 2019

Barking and Dagenham Youth Dance was one of the 13 projects that won up to £10,000 in the last round of the Neighbourhood Fund. Picture: LBBD.

Barking and Dagenham Youth Dance was one of the 13 projects that won up to £10,000 in the last round of the Neighbourhood Fund. Picture: LBBD.


Residents have a new chance to get money for their community projects as the council opens the second round of funding from the Neighbourhood Fund.

The last round saw 13 groups from the borough get up to £10,000. The money comes from part of the fee developers have to pay the council when they want to build something.

The goal is to make sure the developments benefit communities across the borough.

Neighbourhood schemes like community projects and environmental improvements get money based on how they match up to the themes in the council's manifesto.

Barking and Dagenham Youth Dance was one of the groups that won the funding at the last round in May.

Georgina Alexiou is the project manager and founder BDYD, which offers street dance classes to ages nine to 19.

The most recent project is getting its young people to address the problems they see in the borough.

"The idea is that they'll bridge gaps in the borough and do a community event," said Ms Alexiou.

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"For instance, we have done some projects around the different communities in the borough. Do they come together and how do we bring these communities together?

"We have an open mic stage where people can come and perform poetry and dance."

There was also food that people from different backgrounds brought from their homes to allow everyone to get a taste of other cultures.

This time, they're focusing on young people. BDYD's participants are taking part in workshops and other events before it finishes in June 2020.

Councillor Saima Ashraf is deputy leader and member for community leadership and engagement.

She said: "I am looking forward to seeing more groups benefit from this fund and seeing how they will make a positive difference in the borough."

After applying, projects that get through to the next stage face a Dragon's Den style process. Ideas are presented in front of a resident-led judging panel, where members of the community have the final say on whether a project gets a grant.

Applications for the Neighbourhood Fund will close at 10pm on Sunday, September 22. Submissions can be made at

Ms Alexiou said BDYD is always interested in hearing from young people. It can be contacted at

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