Community groups are being urged to apply for thousands of pounds of funding that could help transform local communities and improve environments across the Lincolnshire area.
Not-for-profit environmental body WREN distributes grants worth between £2,000 and £75,000 to community projects across the UK on behalf of waste management company FCC Environment. It also provides grants of up to £250,000 for conservation and heritage projects.
But despite the availability of funds and an enthusiastic take up in other parts of the country, grant applications from Lincolnshire are surprisingly low.In 2011, WREN awarded over £13.5m in funding to 352 projects throughout the country with £400,080 being allocated to 18 projects in Lincolnshire – considerably less than it’s much smaller neighbouring county, Nottinghamshire, where 30 projects reaped the benefits of nearly a million pounds.
WREN’s dedicated Grant Manager for the Lincolnshire area, Cheryl Raynor, is keen to see numbers increase, especially where grants could help bring together isolated rural communities.
She said: “Lincolnshire is a large county with lots of small communities – many of which could really benefit from our help. We want to reach as many people involved in eligible projects as possible and let them know that the money is there and how to access it. That’s why I’m encouraging anyone thinking about making improvements to their community to get in touch. I’m always on hand to provide advice on how the application process works and help with the completion of relevant documentation.”
WREN is able to provide the grants thanks to money paid into the Landfill Communities Fund by FCC Environment. Projects must be based within 10 miles of a FCC Environment landfill site to qualify for funding, meaning that those located close to the eight FCC Environment sites in Lincolnshire, including Gainsborough, North Hykeham, Middlemarsh, Kirkby on Bain, Leadenham, Boston, Colsterworth and Immingham, may be eligible.
Samantha Smith from Community Lincs, which works closely with groups that may benefit from WREN funding, knows the impact these grants can have.
“WREN is a great source of funding for projects that would otherwise struggle to raise large sums of money. Funding is essential in improving the quality of life of those living in rural communities who may not have the services they need.
“We urge local groups to apply for WREN funding as it encourages them to communicate and work together, and we’ve already seen some great results.”Applications for up to 100% of funding can be made for projects of all sizes. Community grants ranging from £2,000 to £75,000 have funded new and improved community facilities such as halls, playgrounds, parks and skate parks.
Some of the projects that benefited from WREN funding last year included:
■New playground equipment, Bolingbroke (£14,012)
■St Giles Methodist Church Hall upgrade, Lincoln (£15,000)
■Community hall refurbishment, Coningsby (£5,570)
■Metheringham Airfield visitor’s centre (£5,663)
■All-purpose paths, Boston Woods (£50,000)
■Playing field development, Eastville (£36,920)
■Scotter MUGA, Gainsborough (£48,750)
More information on the grants available and the application process is available at www.wren.org.uk.
Cheryl can be contacted on Cheryl.firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01623 755319.
Grants administrator Katherine James can be contacted on Katherine.email@example.com or 01953 714108.
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