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Community groups are in the money
4:00pm Thursday 12th December 2013 in Echo News
Thirty seven organisations across the south of the county are being given a share of Essex County Council’s £1.44million Community Initiatives Fund to help support local projects.
The fund has been split between 12 districts. with Basildon receiving £120,184, Castle Point £120,000 and Rochford £94,802, totalling £334,986.
The money will go towards a range of schemes, including anything from creation of new community halls, renovation of church facilities to park and play equipment.
Some of the larger schemes in Castle Point include £18,500 for a new heating system at Smallgains Hall in Creek Road, Canvey, and £20,000 towards the purchase of land for a building for Thundersley Congregational Church.
Peter May, vice-chairman of the Island Boys’ and Girls’ Football Club, who use Smallgains Hall, said: “This is brilliant news. The heating system has been in since the hall was built in the Seventies and before long we would need to repair it, which would be very costly. So we really appreciate getting this money as the hall is going from strength to strength.”
Around £20,000 has been given towards the new St George’s Church Hall, in Rushbottom Lane, Thundersley, which could now cost up to £900,000 to complete.
The hall, an old Army mess hut, was bought for £80 and built in 1958 as a temporary church, but has lasted ever since.
The Rev Anthony Rose said he was delighted by the news and said the newhall was desperately needed for the community.
Among schemes in Basildon, £19,500 was awarded to Basildon Community Transport Services to buy a new minibus.
The organisation’s Danica Daly said: “We are suffering so much with funding, as I think everyone is, so this award means so much to us.
“So many people tell us that it’s only because of what we do that they can go outside and visit places like day centres and social events, as they have difficulty getting around. The more funding we can have, the more people we can help and the better service we can provide.”
The Vange Community Group received £19,500 towards a new, £360,000 community hall and nursery in Kent View Road.
Neil Hart, from the group ,said: “Vange needs new amenities. We have been told it is one of the most deprived areas and, of course, we do not want it to stay that way. We are really pleased by this news as, hopefully, the hall will be of great benefit to everyone.”
In Rochford, £20,000 has been granted to Stambridge Parish for restoration of Stambridge Memorial Hall and another £20,000 for a tractor for Hullbridge Sports Association. There were 170 applications to the fund this year and judging panels, made up of representatives from the voluntary sector, town and parish councils and residents’ groups, had the difficult decisions to make.
John Jowers, county councillor responsible for libraries, communities and planning, said: “The changing make-up of society is placing huge pressure on communities, so I am delighted to assist local groups with the projects which are important to them and projects that will benefit, enhance and strengthen the community.”
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