Money seized from criminals is being handed back to communities to help them tackle gun and knife crime, Home Office minister Fiona Mactaggart announced today.
She said £250,000 would go towards setting up new schemes and maintaining ongoing projects designed to keep young people out of gangs, and to support victims groups.
"The Connected Fund supports the invaluable work of local groups that are helping to tackle gun and knife crime in our communities," she said.
"It can support young people at risk of being drawn into gun crime and gangs, work with schools and provide support for victims."
The fund, applications for which open today, is part of the government's efforts to tackle gun and knife crime working in partnership with the police and communities.
Laws on the possession of these weapons are also being tightened as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Bill.