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Council funding provides boost for community projects

Farington Lodges sign

South Ribble Borough Council has awarded more than £21,000 to a range of community projects across the borough.

An initial six bids are set to benefit from match funding via the Community Hubs Boost Fund - with further support available later this year.

The largest single amount allocated is £7,250 towards premises for Bamber Bridge Foodbank, while £6,307 has been set aside to help provide new changing facilities at Gregson Lane Playing Fields.

A sum of £3,325 has been approved as a contribution to footpath improvements at Farington Lodges and, in Leyland, £2,500 will be invested in creating a new, fully-accessible entrance to the Eagle & Child Bowling Club.

Meanwhile, in Penwortham, £1,020 will help pay for new signage for the St Mary's and Rawstorne Road Conservation Areas and some £900 will facilitate additional mental health awareness activity to complement the good work already carried out in this area across the borough.

Bids totalling more than £46,000 were received during this round of applications. With the exception of the Penwortham mental health awareness funding, the Community Hubs have been allocated 50 per cent of the amount requested for each project. The remainder will be met from the Hubs' existing budgets.

Each bid was considered individually by Council Leader Paul Foster and Cllr Aniela Bylinski Gelder, the Cabinet Member for Communities, Social Justice and Wealth Building.

Cllr Bylinski Gelder said: "We're really pleased to support these worthy projects.

"Our Community Hubs do a brilliant job in our communities, working hard to improve the lives of our residents and provide support for individuals, groups and organisations.

"Each area has its own specific needs, which their local elected members and dedicated Community Development Officers are best placed to understand.

"All of these projects have been identified as bringing real benefits to their communities - whether through improving residents' physical, social or mental wellbeing; celebrating our local heritage; or lending a much-needed hand to families facing hardship.

"I am excited to see each project come to fruition with the help of this funding and look forward to receiving the second round of bids in the Autumn."

A sum of £25,000 is available through the Council's Community Hubs Boost Fund each year.

These latest projects total £21,302, which has been allocated from the budget for 2020/21. The remaining £3,698 will now be carried forward to a second round of bidding this autumn - when a further £25,000 from the 2021/22 budget will also be in play.

The Community Hubs must submit their bids for the second round of funding by 31 October 2021. All projects must be drawn from the respective Hub's Action Plan.

There are five local Community Hubs across South Ribble: Bamber Bridge, Lostock Hall & Walton-le-Dale; Eastern Parishes; Leyland & Farington; Penwortham; and Western Parishes.

The Hubs have recently been redesigned in order to serve their communities more effectively. In addition to its own designated Community Development Officer, each area has a nominated Chair and Vice Chair drawn from the elected members of local wards.

You can find more information and contact details for each Community Hub here. Residents can also follow the activity of each Community Hub on Facebook.

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