Big community spend

Published on: 27 Feb 2014

Good causes are coursing through the Lake District where communities are cashing in on a £75,000 annual windfall.

Across the national park initiatives as diverse as a village snowplough and gritter, cinema clubs, food growing and even a BMX track are being given some hefty financial lifts.

With grants ranging from £500 to £5,000, the Lake District Communities Fund has already supported 52 projects to the tune of nearly £140,000 since it was set-up in 2012.

Organised by Lake District National Park's five park management rangers, they oversee an easy grant application and allocation process covering widespread interests.

Aimed at boosting opportunities in rural areas, each ranger has a £15,000 annual budget for approved projects.

According to fund leader, Graham Standring, the scope and opportunities know no bounds ranging from village halls to school clubs, art schemes to conservation and green energy to red squirrels.

He added: "Right across the Lake District we've been able to help with some amazing schemes.

"Ten have received the maximum £5,000 grant, including Keswick's BMX track, Ennerdale's impressive plans for a community hub and Penruddock's village hall, near Penrith.

"Troutbeck, near Windermere, got £1,600 towards the village snowplough and gritter, we gave £1,500 for the rainwater harvesting system at Grasmere's public loos and £3,000 for the cinema club at Oxen Park, near Greenodd.

"Threlkeld has just been offered £2,000 for youth action, while Gosforth received £2,200 for its agricultural show development plans."

Graham said applying for a grant was very straightforward, with only three pages to fill in.

"We are keen to hear from communities who need help with specific schemes," he added. All the information is available online at http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/caringfor/localcommunities/communitiesfund

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