Twelve community projects receive almost �115,000 of South Norfolk Council funding

Community groups across south Norfolk are celebrating after almost �115,000 was dished out for renovation projects.

Buildings including listed churches, a town centre museum, sports clubs and a boathouse received funding from South Norfolk Council.

Seven projects across the district have been boosted with grants from the council's Capital Grants Panel totalling �99,836 for schemes ranging from roof repairs and extensions, to helping provide a new community meeting place. A further �14,247 was awarded to five projects which came in as applications to the council's neighbourhood fund.

The biggest recipient was Diss Museum, which received �21,000 to tackle structural problems caused by damp and to preserve the building for future generations.

Two churches received funding with �14,070 going to the historic church at Flordon for a project to preserve it's 13th century timber roof to turn it into a community centre. The money will pay for work to remove pews and install a level timber floor, to improve heating and lighting, restore the Victorian vestry, and install a kitchen.

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Wymondham Abbey was awarded �10,000 towards the Abbey Experience Project and in particular to enhancements to the church yard. This includes funding for a medieval herb garden with seating, picnic benches, hard standing and display panels explaining the history of the Abbey.

Saxlingham Playing Field Association received �16,000 to fix the leaking club house roof. Another sports club - Diss Rugby Club - was awarded �12,000 to provide changing facilities for the club's youth group. Councillors awarded �15,901 towards the costs of glazing the Whitlingham boathouse. Brooke and District Cricket Club received �10,000 for improvements to irrigation and drainage.

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David Goldson, chairman of the grants panel said the awards would make a big difference to life in the community for thousands of residents.

'The projects we have supported are well thought through and have strong supporting evidence. They clearly show how these grants will directly benefit thousands of residents.

'Councils today are under immense financial pressure. To be able to support community projects is a tribute to the way we have managed our budget so that our communities get improved services and the support to enjoy and improve the facilities they need to reach their potential,' he said.

The five successful neighbourhood fund applications were �5,000 for the Heart of Gissing charities for internal alterations to the centre in Gissing, near Diss. Diss Youth and Community Centre received �4,000 towards the cost of replacing windows and new flooring. Hethersett Athletic Club received �3,780 for football equipment.

Genesis Housing Association, which manages a homeless hostel in New Costessey received �967 for a cycle shed. And Long Stratton Bowls Club received �500 to replace the club house roof.

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