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More than 100 community groups bid for share of nearly £360,000

Surrey County Council leader David Hodge went to Box Hill to visit the Friends of St Andrew’s group that won cash from his Community Improvement Funds towards a new kichen for a meals on wheels service. He dropped in as the council revealed the second round of bidding had attracted more than 100 applications. Click image to download

More than 100 bids have been made for a share of nearly £360,000 earmarked for community projects.

Surrey County Council received 112 applications for cash from the fund launched by leader David Hodge to help residents improve local areas.

A community garden for people with learning disabilities, a young people’s BMX and skate park and a woodland conservation project are among the bids that arrived before the application deadline.

Surrey County Council leader David Hodge. Click image to download

Others include a proposal for a new scout hut, a bike recycling service and a project to convert a shop into a community volunteering hub.

Strood Green Shop Association, which won £50,000 for its shop and cafe set up and run by the community, was among the first 17 groups to receive cash from the Community Improvement Fund, together with a skate park, an outdoor gym and a basketball court.

The Surrey leader’s cash initiative spearheads the county council’s Love Where You Live campaign, which aims to encourage residents to volunteer and play a more active role to improve their neighbourhoods.

Mr Hodge said: “This is an absolutely amazing response. It really goes to show the community spirit of Surrey’s residents and their enthusiasm to get schemes off the ground that provide a lasting benefit to their neighbourhoods.

“All the projects that have already won cash are great examples of the county council and residents joining together to make Surrey an even better place to live and I’m looking forward to helping even more groups enhance their local areas.”

Groups have asked for between £10,000 and £50,000 – the most available for a single scheme. A panel of councillors will now draw up a shortlist for Mr Hodge to consider. Groups are expected to discover if they have been successful towards the end of next month.

More information about the fund can be found at www.surreycc.gov.uk/communityimprovementsfund.

Applications received by area – Elmbridge 14; Epsom & Ewell 2; Guildford 13; Mole Valley 12; Reigate & Banstead 6; Runnymede 7; Surrey Heath 17; Spelthorne 7; Tandridge 9; Waverley 22; Woking 3.

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