Final raft of funding offered by Wensum Valley Trust

Riverside in Norwich, around Fye Bridge and Whitefriars on the Wensum.Photo: Bill Smith

Riverside in Norwich, around Fye Bridge and Whitefriars on the Wensum.Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

A trust founded to preserve and promote one of Norfolk's most treasured waterways is preparing to make a final series of grants for projects within the Wensum Valley.

Gordon Bambridge, chairman of the Wensum Valley Trust

Gordon Bambridge, chairman of the Wensum Valley Trust - Credit: Submitted

The Wensum Valley Trust (WVT), established in 2007 to conserve the wildlife, landscape and heritage of the protected river, was forced to stop its support operations last year due to a lack of public funding.

But after completing the process of closing down its activities, the organisation has about £3,000 remaining which the trustees would like to offer for charitable projects within the catchment area of the River Wensum.

A number of small grants of up to £500 are expected to be awarded, with applications assessed on how well they fit with the trust's ethos of supporting activities which affect the people and environment of the river and the valley.

Trust chairman Gordon Bambridge said: 'Applicants should be users of the Wensum or firmly based in the area, or they may be environmental groups. They will be small charities or groups which have a project benefiting the community as a whole or a specialist section of the community.

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'We will consider parish projects and, under certain circumstances, individuals. We do insist that the each grant be used in a project which will be completed within a short period of time, and the grant may not be used for core funding or banking to provide for major future schemes. We are offering a short term fix for needs that are 'now', but we are recognising that environmental projects may well be seasonal.

'The valley stretches from west of Fakenham right into the heart of Norwich, with its many types of needs so we just do not know what to expect. We will also expect a feedback from recipients of our grants.'

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The two-stage application process will include a 'Dragons' Den' style interview evening, due to be held in September, where projects can be presented to a panel of WVT trustees and independent assessors.

For an application form, email or send a stamped and addressed envelope to Gordon Bambridge, Jays, Gypsy Lane, Hockering. NR20 3RS. Deadline for applications is August 17.

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