Cash Available To Help Dorset Communities
12:03am 24th November 2013
Money is still available to help improve your village, town or parish.
Grants of up to £3,000 are available from West Dorset District Council for projects that improve the landscape, conserve historic features or help communities influence services and how their area should be developed.
The Conservation and Community Planning Grant Scheme has already awarded around £7,500 to local projects, including £3,000 to help Puddletown Parish Council plant trees and improve a hedgerow around the village's recreation ground.
Bridget Legg, Puddletown Parish Councillor, said: "The money will help us tidy up an area which is overgrown with brambles. It will make the entrance to the recreation ground look appealing, which will be better for the village.
"If you have a project that needs money to improve your local area, I'd recommend applying straight away. The grant has really helped us."
The grant scheme could help pay for landscape improvements like hedge laying, woodland planting and heath land restoration. It could also help projects that use traditional skills to conserve historic features like walls, railings, gates, paving, steps, market crosses, painted signs, village wells, pumps and ponds.
Projects that help local communities create a Parish or Neighbourhood Plan to influence services and new development, can also apply for money.
Funding has also been given to help install a new war memorial in Beaminster Square, lay hedges in West Bay and Holnest, near Sherborne and replace trees around Willowbed Field in Chickerell.
Robert Gould, Leader of West Dorset District Council, said: "Several worthwhile projects have already benefitted from a grant, which is excellent news. This money will help local communities improve their area and protect the things that make it special.
"The last chance to apply is approaching, so I would urge groups who can make a difference to their area to apply immediately."
Grant applications for up to 50 per cent of a project's costs must be made by 31 January 2014. Applications can be made by town and parish councils, businesses and individuals (with parish or town council support) and community groups, including Local Area Partnerships. However, individuals can only apply for grants of up to £1,000.
Grants will not cover salaries and running costs or projects that mainly benefit an individual householder or landowner. Advice and more information about the Conservation and Community Planning Grant Scheme is available online at www.dorsetforyou.com/environmentgrants/west or ring West Dorset District Council on 01305 251010.