Mid Suffolk Council handed out almost £1 million in community support grants during the pandemic
Almost £1 million was handed out during a ‘record breaking’ year for community grants, according to Mid Suffolk District Council.
The council awarded grants totalling £996,855 in the 2020/21 financial year with the money split between supporting the district’s Covid response and enabling improvements to community venues, sports and leisure facilities.
The sum total consists of £192,108 in Section 106 grants, £217,934 in locality awards, £586,813 made up of £239,565 capital grants, £229,080 revenue grants, £100,999 Covid-19 Emerging Needs Grants, £10,457 discretionary grants and £6,712 in minor grants.
The dedicated Covid-19 Emerging Needs Grant opened last May to help the district through the pandemic, supporting the role of community groups, town and parish councils. Further support is planned.
More than 60 organisations benefitted in total including good neighbour schemes, foodbanks and community outreach projects.
Grant funding was also approved for walking routes, leisure equipment and local sports clubs in the district.
More than £50,000 in Section 106 funding – collected from developers – went towards a new play areas in Badwell Ash and Elmswell, along with capital grants of £36,500 for Mid Suffolk tennis clubs.
The Museum of East Anglian Life, in Stowmarket, also received a capital grant of £18,400 towards community-focused plans, whilst the town’s community centre secured £17,340 in Section 106 money to fund accessibility improvements.
The council also allocated more than £229,000 in revenue funding to support charities serving Mid Suffolk residents, including Community Action Suffolk, Homestart, Mid Suffolk Citizens Advice, Rural Coffee Caravan and Lighthouse Womens Aid.
Tom Barker Assistant Director for Sustainable Communities said: “This has been a record year for grant funding, with all areas seeing an increase in spend compared to 2019/20.
“I am delighted that council grants will provide the facilities needed for our communities to thrive, both now and in future -meeting our ambition for Mid Suffolk to continue to be somewhere that everyone is proud to call home.”