Lowestoft town centre fund joy

THE area covering Lowestoft town centre has been selected to benefit from a �30m initiative designed to improve and enliven communities.

The Harbour ward has been awarded just under �35,000 as part of the Community First programme, funded by the Office for Civil Society, on behalf of the government.

A Community First panel has already been established in the ward, made up of local people, with several supporting organisations. It is now looking at how the money can be spent.

The panel's spokesman John Ellerby, who lives and works in the ward, said members had identified 'priority areas', including tackling graffiti and vandalism, supporting groups that promote cleanliness, promoting support available for vulnerable groups, and encouraging investment and enterprise.

He said: 'These are big tasks, but Community First in Harbour doesn't have a big pot of money. It does have a lot of faith in the people of Harbour, though, and believes they could make a little money go a long way. So if you have a suggestion where a bit of funding might make a difference to life in Harbour, and it fits in with one or more of our priorities, get in touch.'

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The panel's partner organisation is the Kirkley-based Community Forum, and it now has until March 2015 to recommend to Community First how the funds should be distributed. Grants are available from �250 up to �2,500.

Claire Taylor Crisp, of the Community Forum, said she hoped local people would get involved.

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'Though we have an enthusiastic and energetic group on the panel we would welcome more members, from people who live or work, or both, in Harbour ward, and want to help make a difference,' she said.

The Harbour ward covers an area that takes in most of Lowestoft town centre, from the Bascule bridge north to the old High Street.

The next panel meeting is at 4pm on Thursday, July 12 at 4pm at The Heritage Centre in Lowestoft.

?To find out more, visit www.communityfirstinharbour.onesuffolk.net or email communityfirstinharbour@gmail.com

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