East Northamptonshire Council has approved £267,000 worth of grants to help build and improve community facilities across the district.
The Community Facilities Fund was set up by East Northamptonshire Council using money it receives from the government called New Homes Bonus. This money is based on the number of properties added to the Council Tax base each year, either as new homes occupied or empty homes brought back into use.
Constituted community groups including voluntary organisations, charities and schools, as well as town and parish councils have been bidding for grants of up to £50,000 for capital projects which aim to enhance the local area and benefit the whole community. This includes building and construction work or purchasing large items of equipment. For example, the money might be used to make improvements to a village hall or community centre, update to a museum display or install a children’s play area in a local park.
A panel of councillors considered and shortlisted the awards and these were approved by the Policy and Resources Committee on 15 September 2014. Each project awarded a grant has either secured or is in the process of securing funding from other sources as well.
Some of the groups set to receive grants include Diamonds Gymnastic Club, who are now able to purchase equipment to improve facilities and safety. £40,000 has been awarded to Rushden Historical Transport Society to go towards purchasing the Victorian Goods Yard and shed and developing the Heritage Centre and car park. Kings Cliffe Community Sports can now build three tennis courts and two netball/basketball courts at Kings Cliffe Recreation Ground with a grant of £35,000.
Councillor Steven North, Leader of the Council said:
"We’re delighted to be able to use New Homes Bonus funding to continue to support more community facilities which are essential to those areas where new homes are being built.
"Last year, 13 community groups benefitted from this fund and we’re pleased to announce that a further 10 groups will get the financial help they need to improve play areas, refurbish sports pavilions, and build new community meeting places. We’re really looking forward to seeing these projects take shape and believe that each and every one will make an important contribution to local people’s health and wellbeing."
For more information about the Community Facilities Fund please visit www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/cff