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Community projects to receive council funding

Cllr Peter Thornton with volunteers from B4SW at the new broadband hub in New Hutton

[T]wenty local projects are to share £239,000 in the latest round of community funding from South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

The council’s Locally Import Projects (LIPs) fund allows local groups, clubs and organisations to invest in a wide range of initiatives.

This year’s awards range from £1,000 for a community environment action plan up to £35,000 towards the refurbishment of a community centre.

Approval of the latest applications means SLDC will have awarded almost £1.25million in LIPs grant funding since 2013.

Council Leader, Councillor Giles Archibald, said: “I am delighted that a further 20 excellent projects are to receive LIPs funding, enabling groups and organisations to achieve real results in their neighbourhoods.

“We place great emphasis on localism and partnership working, empowering local people to improve their own communities.

“This year we were particularly keen to receive applications from more deprived areas of the district and also projects which could help to alleviate social isolation.”

Local town and parish councils are among the groups eligible to bid for the funding which is linked to SLDC’s Council Plan priorities for housing, the economy, the environment and promoting health and wellbeing.

“Some of this year’s LIPs funding will be spent on improving playgrounds, exercise areas and green spaces. It will also support important renovation and conservation projects, help to fund a much needed indoor play area, make cycling more accessible, improve community spaces in rural areas and much more.

“All of these projects will deliver a wide range of improvements which help to enhance the quality of life in communities right across the district,” added Cllr Archibald.

LIPs money is allocated through the New Homes Bonus, where government matches the Council Tax raised on new homes and properties brought back into use.

SLDC decided to use the New Homes Bonus funds to address the needs of local communities.

For more details about LIPs funding and eligibility, please visit the council’s website:  www.southlakeland.gov.uk

Case study

FUNDING BOOSTS BROADBAND PROJECT

One of the many initiatives to benefit from LIPs funding is the project to bring fast broadband to South Lakeland’s rural parishes.

Over the past year 28 miles of broadband trunk-cabling has been laid across New Hutton, Old Hutton and Holmescales and Preston Patrick, connecting more than 250 homes and businesses.

A £20,000 LIPs grant from the council enabled volunteers from Broadband for South Westmorland (B4SW) to install a fibre broadband hub which controls the fast signals.

Councillor Peter Thornton, who represents the ward of Whinfell, says the connections are bringing huge benefits to the area.

“Broadband brings modern living into people’s homes, allowing them to enjoy things which many others take for granted, like shopping online and using Skype to keep in touch with family and friends.

“Incredibly, any modern businesses which rely on being online can now locate here and enjoy faster broadband speeds than in the centre of London,” said Cllr Thornton.

The latest round of SLDC’S LIPs funding includes a £15,000 grant to Levens Parish Council for local broadband installation.

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