Community projects across Norfolk celebrate their share of £2m construction fund

PUBLISHED: 06:56 22 March 2013 | UPDATED: 08:22 22 March 2013

Whitlingham Boathouse

Whitlingham Boathouse


Dozens of communities across Norfolk are this morning celebrating windfalls of up to £100,000 after hearing that funding bids for key construction projects have been given the green light.

Scouts who use a former windmill as their headquarters, a project to build a hospice in west Norfolk and a community swimming pool are among 39 schemes to benefit from the second round of Norfolk County Council’s Community Construction Fund.

The grants range from a £6,000 award to improve access to the tourist information centre in Hunstanton to three £100,000 awards to replace and extend toilet facilities at the Copeman Centre in Briston, create a training room in Upton and provide changing and toilet facilities at Aylsham Recreation Ground.

More than 120 organisations applied for funds from the latest round of funding and had to show how they would benefit the local community, help the local economy and be ready to start work straight away.

Bill Borrett, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “These projects will not only help to improve the quality of life for thousands of Norfolk people, but also give a welcome boost to those working in our construction industry.

“This innovative fund allows communities to get on with their own projects and priorities and support both short and medium-term economic growth in Norfolk, as well as many local businesses.

“This sort of investment can make a real difference to local life and I hope that the successful communities will greatly benefit from using the new facilities in the near future.”

Today’s announcement will allow some long-standing projects to finally reach completion.

A £93,155 grant will let the trustees of the new village hall in Garvestone, near Dereham, add the storage and changing facilities they could not afford when it was built in 2010.

And the fund will add the final £80,000 to the £1.12m raised over three years to finish phase two of the construction of the new Whitlingham Boathouse in Trowse, near Norwich.

Max Heron, chairman of the Whitlingham Boathouses Foundation, said: “Our fantastic new boathouse facility is vital to the local community as it is being used by a growing number of local schools, clubs, charities and community groups.

“Completion of the project is a very visible demonstration of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy and it will provide outstanding community sporting facilities for able and disabled users of all ages.”

And an award of £35,000 will improve the former windmill which acts as the headquarters of the 1st Rural Roughton Mill Scout Group in Cromer, and could help secure the group’s long-term survival.

Group scout leader Dave Stow said: “Once the work is completed it will provide a better facility for the scout group’s activities and we hope that the building will also become more attractive to visiting scout groups and other community groups. This will generate additional income to support our programme of activities and therefore help with the longevity of the 1st Roughton Mill Scout Group.”

The Norfolk Hospice Tapping House in Snettisham is also celebrating the £98,000 grant which will fund rooms for its family support and community teams at the hospice it will soon start building at Hillington.

Chief executive Richard Shaw said he was hopeful grants from other bodies in the next couple of months would raise the remaining £900,000 needed to fund the entire development.

Money from the Community Construction Fund comes from a planned, one-off underspend by the county council, and a total of £2.169m was available in this round of funding.

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