Elephant & Castle developer Lend Lease has launched a community fund to support training, arts and environmental initiatives in the area.
The Australian company, which is Southwark Council's partner for the Elephant & Castle regeneration programme, has put £25,000 into the fund and says it plans to increase its investment in over the next three years.
Lend Lease says that it aims to draw in funding from other bodies to set up a fund with capital of £1 million by the time the regeneration project is complete.
Community groups and projects that are helping to address important local issues such as education, skills training and entrepreneurship, arts and culture, safety, health and wellbeing and the environment are invited to bid for funding.
"We are committed to regenerating Elephant & Castle and we want to support local people," says Lend Lease project director Rob Deck.
"The community fund will help community groups and projects to make small changes now that, in the near future, will have a big impact.
"Elephant & Castle is full of life and vitality, and the regeneration projects in the area are a great opportunity for local people.
"We want our development to leave a financial legacy for the community, as well as creating a thriving and sustainable place that new and existing residents can enjoy."
The move by Lend Lease follows the council's decision not to revive the Elephant & Castle Trust which had been set up to continue to work started by the Government-funded Elephant Links organisation.
Earlier this year the council carried out a consultation on future options for the trust.
"It is evident from that exercise that there is little support for the trust," said Cllr Fiona Colley, Southwark's cabinet member for regeneration, in March this year. "I therefore see little point in continuing support for the trust and therefore do not support providing financial assistance to it."
The new fund is open to applications for projects in the Elephant & Castle opportunity area as defined by Southwark Council and the Greater London Authority. This covers large chunks of SE1, SE11 and SE17 from Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park in the West to Harper Road in the east and St George's Circus in the north down to the southern end of Walworth Road.
The London Community Foundation will manage the fund and a panel made up of representatives from Lend Lease, Southwark Council and the community will meet once a year to select projects which the fund will support.
The closing date for the first round of applications is 20 July and the first panel meeting will take place in August.
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