[C]ommunity groups in Allerdale and Copeland are being offered the chance to apply for grants thanks to two new funds set up with money donated by United Utilities.
The water company has set up the Cumbria Legacy Fund which is being managed by Cumbria Community Foundation and the Cumbria Tree Fund, managed by Cumbria Woodlands.
John Hilton, West Cumbria Project Director at United Utilities, explained why the schemes had been launched: “We are carrying out a crucial infrastructure project across one of the most environmentally sensitive parts of the UK and we knew from the outset that we wanted to give something back to the communities that would be affected by up to five years of disruption.
“These funds will help leave a lasting legacy after our work has finished, helping improve the environment and the lives of people in West Cumbria.”
The Cumbria Legacy Fund is open to applications from community groups which provide activities that benefit people or the environment in the Allerdale and Copeland areas. Successful bids can win a community grant of up to £10,000 or a strategic grant of up to £30,000.
Funding will be available from 2018 to 2020 and the grants will be allocated in four phases across each year. The deadline for applications for the first phase is 23 February 2018.
Andy Beeforth, CEO of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “The Community Foundation is very pleased to be working in partnership with United Utilities who have created a significant Legacy Fund.
“The fund will be spent over the next three years and will provide valuable investment in people and communities helping to keep West Cumbria strong and able to embrace the challenges we face.”
The Cumbria Tree Fund is aimed at landowners and community groups who want to plant trees, hedges or woodlands in West Cumbria. Grants will be available for plants, trees, fencing and protective materials, as well as support and advice from Cumbria Woodlands. Applications are encouraged before the end of March 2018.
Neville Elstone at Cumbria Woodlands said: “We want to see applications that will enhance the landscape, benefit wildlife, protect the environment and involve the local community. Even if you only have a rough idea of what you want to achieve, we can help pull those ideas together into a scheme that will have a lasting benefit.”
For more information on the Cumbria Legacy Fund visit www.cumbriafoundation.org or contact Annalee Holliday on 01900 825760.
United Utilities will be on hand to answer any questions about the project, or the grant schemes, at a regular drop-in session for the public every Thursday (starting 18th January) between 10am and 3pm, at the Visitor Centre at 32 Lake Road, Keswick, CA12 5DQ.