The Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund, which offers financial support to community projects and organisations, was opened by Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden last week.
The fund, which is partly paid for by money seized from criminals, will see grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 provided to projects that help deliver the five key priorities in the Police and Crime Plan. These include equipment, infrastructure, community engagement, pilot projects and other safety-improving schemes.
Mr Snowden said: "I'm delighted to be able to launch the first part of my Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund, as we take the ill-gotten gains from criminals and invest it into our local neighbourhoods to prevent and deter crime. Whilst my Police and Crime Plan rightly focuses on enforcement and taking the fight to criminals, delivering my priorities cannot be done through arrests alone.
"It will fund initiatives, pilots and infrastructure that clearly demonstrate they are addressing identified issues in hotspot areas and delivering on mine and the publics key priorities. This is an important way in which I can support local people and neighbourhoods to play their part, alongside the police, in making their area safer.
"The fund will support projects, of different sizes and scope, to make a difference in getting tough on anti-social behaviour, tackling dangerous driving, and my other priorities."
The community fund is the first of three planned investments for Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund.
A dedicated fund supporting crime-fighting ideas from police officers and Lancashire Constabulary staff is predicted to launch later this year, along with larger 'Fighting Crime' grants supporting match-funded projects.
Mr Snowden said: “I am looking forward to seeing first-hand projects that we invest in, making a positive difference for the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens in Lancashire.
"It is a poetic irony that by getting tougher on asset seizures and hitting criminals where it hurts, in their pockets, we are going to be able to increase the investment back into the communities they have hurt to make them more resilient to crime and safer for the people they have impacted.”