Corporate, General

Community groups win council cash

An indoor swimming pool, an outdoor ball games area and a scout group are among the community projects that have won cash from a fund to improve local areas.

They were on a list of 12 schemes that were awarded up to £45,000 by Surrey County Council leader David Hodge.

The Friends of St John’s Church of England Community School and Nursery were awarded £42,660 to add a roof to the Dorking school’s swimming pool and open it up to the community.

St Michael’s Project was handed £30,000 towards creating an area for children to play ball games safely at the Avenue Sucy playground in Camberley.

And 2nd Guildford Scout Group received a £23,400 contribution towards the building of a new hall to replace its ageing base.

Others Mr Hodge awarded cash to include a BMX and skate park between Chessington and West Ewell (£40,000), a group providing support for people with epilepsy in Lingfield (£45,000) and a church in Addlestone that provides help for families in need (£13,200).

The Surrey leader created the Community Improvements Fund to help people independently enhance their local neighbourhoods.

It spearheads the council’s Love Where You Live campaign, which aims to encourage residents to volunteer and play a more active role to improve their communities.

Among the first 17 projects to benefit from the fund earlier this year were a community cafe and a meals on wheels service.

Mr Hodge said: “All these projects are fantastic examples of the county council and residents joining together to make Surrey an even better place to live.

“They all make a real difference to local people’s lives by strengthening the ability of residents to independently enhance their neighbourhoods.

“Schemes we helped a few months ago are already benefitting local people and the latest groups to win money are sure to make an equally positive contribution to their communities.”

Debbie Harrison, project leader for the Friends of St John’s swimming pool scheme, said: “We are delighted to receive this substantial grant funding. Upgrading  our pool facility with an all weather enclosure will not only benefit children attending St John’s C of E Community School and Nursery, but will  importantly give local residents, including families, the opportunity to enjoy this accessible and affordable facility throughout the year.

“This will make a meaningful difference to residents of all ages enabling both children and adults to enjoy sporting and leisure time together, while reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. This is a part of the Olympic legacy, which will make a measurable difference to our community.”

The full list of projects awarded a total of more than £356,000 by Mr Hodge can be found by using this link. They were recommended to him by a panel of councillors chaired by Nick Skellett.

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