Taking nuisance fires for granted

Community groups with innovative ideas to help reduce nuisance fires are being offered grants of up to £3,000 from Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Some 85% of Cleveland’s fire calls are related to deliberate fires – the highest in the country – and divert resources away from other emergencies where lives may be at risk. There has also been an increase in abuse and attacks on fire crews.

Latest figures show there were more than 2,200 deliberate fires across the Brigade area in the first six months of this year (Jan to June 2021), costing the local economy nearly £13m. From April 2020 to March 2021, the Brigade reported 52 incidents of violence to staff, a 13% increase on the previous year.

Helen Winskill, Commissioned Services Manager, said: “We are looking for projects with innovative approaches to engaging with people who are setting fires or projects that reduce the opportunity for arsonists to start fires.  We know where the fires are happening. We need your help to prevent them.

We encourage community groups to think outside the box and be creative.

“We are offering small grants and you can apply for any amount up to £3,000. We expect projects to be completed within 12 months of the grant being issued. Your application must tell us what you want to do and why you believe this approach will help us.

“The ideas will be targeted on hotspot areas across Cleveland and application packs will include full guidance notes and outline these areas. All projects will be evaluated to see if they have a positive impact on reducing deliberate fires.”

The Brigade has £15,000 available for grants. The projects can include diversionary activities for young people, new physical structures or cleaning up the local environment.

Applicants must fit in with at least one of the following criteria:

  • Reducing  the number of deliberate fires set
  • Reducing the opportunity for arsonists to start fires
  • Reducing incidents of violence to staff.

To request an application pack please email: smallgrants@clevelandfire.gov.ukThe deadline for applications is 12:00 noon Tuesday 31 August.