Community Grants help 60 local organisations in Wealden

A number of local organisations, community centres and sports clubs will be receiving support from Wealden District Council and its community grants scheme this year alongside societies and charities who will benefit from the council’s Service Level Agreements.

The District Council is supporting a total of 60 local organisations and has awarded £20,000 in Small Grants to organisations for short term projects and £50,000 in Capital Grants to support community buildings and facilities.

In addition to the community grants a number of Wealden area groups, including three charities who support young people in the area Clued Up, Now! and Tomorrow’s People, will benefit from £69,080 worth of Service Level Agreements which have been approved by the council and will last for three years in total.

Eridge village hall, which benefited from an earlier Community Grant
Eridge village hall, which benefited from an earlier Community Grant

“In the last 10 years the grants programme has supported 320 small and capital projects with over £840,000 of funding, ranging from village hall, sports pavilion and recreational space improvements to lunch clubs, arts festivals and activities for the disabled and young people,” said Councillor Claire Dowling, Cabinet member for Public Health and Community Safety.

“The lion’s share of Wealden’s community grants are distributed through Service Level Agreements which support a wide range of vital services such as debt advice, community transport, protecting the environment, and volunteering. The £3.2 million distributed to 42 organisations in the past ten years has created employment opportunities, supported volunteers  and ensured these organisations have the wherewithal to carry on their work. It is these local organisations who are best placed to deliver care and support.”

Among the organisations to benefit from this year’s Wealden Small Grants are Buxted Allotments AssociationCrowborough and Rotherfield Jitsu Club, East Sussex Junior Badminton Association, The Friends of St Andrews, Alfriston; Hailsham Cricket Club, The Little Arts Festival on Rushlake Green Pevensey Timeline, The Friends of Crowborough Regional Music Service and Incredible Edible of Pevensey and Westham. The Incredible Edible project seeks to use public open spaces to grow produce for everyone to share: the Wealden’s Community Grant will be used to set up a shed and a beehive on land owned by Southern Water in order to make honey and encourage bees to propagate local flowers and vegetables.

Community centres and sports clubs have been the chief beneficiaries of the Wealden Capital Grants. Those benefitting have included Crowborough Football Club, Fletching Recreation Ground, Hartfield Village Hall, Hellingly Lions Cycle SpeedwayJarvis Brook Community Centre, St James Church Hall,  Nutley; Wartling Village Hall and the Uckfield Anderida Cricket Club. Two Wealden windmills to benefit are the Stone Cross Mill Trust which receives £6,000 for new gears to the flour mill and Windmill Hill Windmill Trust at Herstmonceux  which receives £7,000 to install virtual reality equipment to enable disabled visitors to enjoy a comprehensive tour of the mill.

The Council has also approved £69,080 worth of Service Level Agreements including £10,500 to Clued Up, the Crowborough-based information shop helping 11-25 year olds; £10,000 to Now!, who provide advice, training and employment workshops for young people in the Hailsham area; and £10,000 to Tomorrow’s People to extend support to young people not in work, training or education living in Uckfield, Framfield,  Mayfield, Rotherfield and Cross in Hand.

Other beneficiaries include the Ashdown Forest Tourist Association, Cuckmere Community Bus, the business consultancy EDEAL, The High Weald conservation unit, East Sussex Credit Union, North Wealden Community Transport and Home Start, which provides support to families with additional needs in the Uckfield area.

“As well as providing support through our community grants, voluntary organisations, societies and charities have been directly assisted by Wealden Community and Regeneration Staff to successfully apply for over £1.3 million of funding from external organisations such as the lottery and Sussex Community Foundation since 2010,” added Councillor Dowling.

Full details of all this year’s Wealden Community Grants can be found on the Community grants pages of the Wealden website.