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Community groups from Alston to Shap are using kick-start cash from Eden District Council’s £230k Rural Infrastructure Fund to develop sustainable projects in their areas. The funding has enabled community groups to attract an estimated additional £1.42 million of investment into Eden; to make the total value of the projects the Rural Infrastructure Fund is supporting to be a whopping £1.65 million!
Alston Moor is one rural area that has benefitted significantly from the Rural Infrastructure Fund, with grants totalling £71k being awarded to projects across Alston, Garrigill and Nenthead.
The largest grant went to Alston Moor Partnership, who received £40,320 for its project; ‘A strong future for Alston Moor’, which aims to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the area. A Project Officer is currently being recruited to drive this project forward; the Infrastructure Fund grant will fund some of the post.
The Chair of Alston Moor Partnership, Sonia Kempsey said: “We’re really excited to have been awarded this money, which enables us to progress the Community Plan developed last year. As the title “A Strong Future for Alston Moor” suggests, we are looking toward the sustainability and vibrancy of our far-flung rural community, and having a Project Officer to co-ordinate and steer the voluntary work of so many people will help us achieve our aims.”
At Garrigill Village Hall an award of £11k, is enabling work to commence to provide a fully supported bunkhouse within the existing building, with separate access and use of showers, toilets, kitchen and a drying room. The bunkhouse once completed will generate income by providing accommodation for visitors.
Tim Haldon, Treasurer for Garrigill Village Hall, said: “We are very grateful to the Council for the Eden Rural Infrastructure Funding. This will enable us to complete work on the Bunkhouse accommodation and attract visitors Garrigill who are completing Coast to Coast and Pennine Way routes, which helps sustain the village shop and pub and offers a welcome income stream to make the Village Hall more viable too.”
An award of £20,000 has being made to Nenthead Chapel Restoration Project to purchase and convert a disused Wesleyan Chapel for residents and visitors into a vibrant, multi-faceted business and community asset with provision for volunteering and training. This project is dependent on receiving match funding from a Heritage Lottery Grant and it is hoped the purchase can be completed during 2013.
The £230,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund was launched at the Eden Community Conference in Skelton in November 2011. It is a one-off fund for sustainable community projects in Eden’s rural areas. The minimum award was £10,000 and the Eden Community Partnership, which is made up of individuals from across the District, who have a clear focus on helping communities to bring their projects to fruition. The Eden Community Partnership make recommendations to the Council’s Executive on which projects should be allocated funding and these were endorsed by the Executive on 31 July 2012.
Councillor Gordon Nicolson, Leader of Eden District Council said: “An interesting range of projects is being supported by the Rural Infrastructure Fund. The response from local people has been excellent and I am very pleased we have been able to help them achieve their aims.
“Our investment of £230k has enabled community groups to access a further £1.42m which is a staggering sum and will ensure the projects can be sustained in the future. To have helped communities access over five times our investment exceeds our early expectations and I congratulate the local groups for their initiative and hard work.”
The others projects supported by the Eden Rural Infrastructure Fund area:
· £22,680 for Eden Credit Union
· £24,000 for Inspira’s “Wheels to Work,” a project supporting young people in training in employment by overcoming transport barriers
· £20k for Kings Meaburn Village Institute regeneration project
· £12k for Lazonby pool heat pump replacement
· £25k for Lyvennet Community Shop
· £30k for Shap multi-use games area (MUGA)
· £25k for Threlkeld Village Hall community coffee shop
For more information about community funding available from Eden District Council visit www.eden.gov.uk/communityfund or for examples of Community Planning projects visit www.eden.gov.uk/community-solutions Find Eden District Council on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Picture shows Eden District Council’s Leader Gordon Nicolson (centre) presents a £11,000 Eden Rural Infrastructure Fund cheque to representatives from Garrigill Village Hall and Alston Moor Partnership. The funding will be used to complete work on the Village Hall’s Bunkhouse accommodation, which will be used by visitors completing Coast to Coast and Pennine Way routes.