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De-fibrillators, sweet-smelling plants, festive lights and a toy shed - just some of the ways Keswick will be an even better place to live in and visit, thanks to £1,750 of community grants from United Utilities. The water company, currently giving the town's sewer system a major upgrade, has handed out the first in a series of cash boosts to local organisations.
Keswick and District First Responders, Friends of Keswick Parks, Threlkeld Parent and Toddler Group and Keswick Tourism Association each received a slice of the giveaway.
Here's how the money will be spent:
A £500 cash windfall will help towards the cost of installing four de-fibrillators for use by heart attack victims and first responders. Park lovers intend to spend their £500 buying shrubs, bulbs and seeds for the riverside sensory garden in Fitz Park. Keswick Tourism Association's £500 will contribute towards the cost of more festive lights and a nativity scene for the town centre. Meanwhile Threlkeld Parents and Toddlers, who only needed £250, will spend it on a new toy shed, so that they can keep the snails off their play equipment.
The grant winners were chosen by a selection panel comprising local councillors and United Utilities representatives. Later in the year, members of the local community will be encouraged to apply for a further round of grants. Application packs can be obtained from Karen Moss at United Utilities by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Work on Keswick's £23m sewer project is due to finish next year and will help boost the quality of water in Bassenthwaite Lake while alleviating the risk of occasional sewer flooding in the town itself.
United Utilities project manager Simon Povey said: "This community grants scheme is a great way to give something back to deserving local causes. Our engineers will be a fixture in Keswick until next year so it's important that we support people while we are delivering this vital project. Hopefully the money will make a real difference to hundreds of local people who engage with these groups."
Elizabeth Barraclough, convenor of Friends of Keswick Parks said: "The garden is a significant area of shrubs and trees bounded on one side by the River Greta. We want to make it disabled friendly and provide an attractive space for the growing elderly population."
Speaking on behalf of all the parents who submitted the grant application for Threlkeld Parent and Toddler Group, treasurer Mady(correct) Thompson said: "Our old shed was rotten and leaky. We regularly had to clean mould and snails from our toys. When it was taken down in September 2011 we had to store toys in people's garages and were unable to use some of them. Buying and putting up a new shed was a priority for us as it will make a huge difference to the children."
The Keswick sewer scheme is part of United Utilities' £3.6 billion investment programme between 2010 and 2015 to improve the North W