Worthy causes in Luton area to share £240k cash boost for community projects

Grants to be awarded to groups across Central Beds
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Grants worth a total of £240,000 are to be awarded to community groups across Dunstable and Central Bedfordshire.

The money will enable 12 charities, voluntary groups and town and parish councils to invest in facilities, improve access, reduce running costs, and create better spaces for their respective communities.

The grants, to be awarded by Central Beds Council, are funded by the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF).

The grants have been awarded by Central Beds CouncilThe grants have been awarded by Central Beds Council
The grants have been awarded by Central Beds Council

Projects to be completed between now and the end of March include: improvements to a building used to help unemployed young people develop new skills; community and sensory gardens; new play equipment; and improvements to accessibility for people using wheelchairs or pushing buggies. They will support communities in Dunstable, Flitwick, Leighton Buzzard, along with Shefford, Sandy, Caddington, Potton, Woburn and Barton le Clay.

Cllr Mary Walsh, the council’s Executive Member for Planning, and chair of the Local Partnership Group said, “We’re thrilled to be able to announce the award of these grants. Through an application process, we received 50 expressions of interest from groups across Central Bedfordshire, which are all doing great work in their communities. The UKSPF funding is limited, of course, but at a time when councils across the country are facing huge financial challenges, we’re very pleased to be able to support 12 fantastic projects that support our residents. These local projects will have a big impact on local people and will go a long way to improving the health and well-being of our communities.”

The following organisations and projects in the Luton area to benefit include:

> Volunteer It Yourself CIC, Dunstable South, £25k

Improvements to community building used to support disadvantaged, unemployed young people to develop new vocational skills.

> Barton le Clay Parish Council, £19.5k

Creating a new community garden, improving a sense of community, and supporting mental wellbeing and local biodiversity.

> The Zoological Society of London at Whipsnade, Caddington, £25k

New sensory garden for Community Access Scheme beneficiaries and other visitors

> Dunstable Town Council, £40k

To provide and install several pieces of inclusive play equipment in the Grove House Gardens Play Area.

> BRCC, Dunstable Central, £10k

Replacement of an old, inefficient oiled-fired heating system, with a modern and efficient air source heat pump.