Community fund gives £300,000 to 70 projects

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SEVENTY community projects have received £300,000 from Havebury Housing Partnership’s Neighbourhood Investment Panel in its first year.

Now the panel is asking the housing association’s tenants to nominate more good causes to benefit from its next £200,000.

The panel, made up of tenants and independent representatives, was formed last April. Estate improvements have since received £250,000, with £50,000 going to community initiatives.

Panel vice-chairman Sandy Norris said grants had been given to groups ranging from Bury St Edmunds Photographic Society, for new equipment, to a fun children’s event being held by football club Sporting 87 at Nowton Park.

She added: “It’s been an excellent first year for the panel – we’ve had some really good feedback from our tenants who say the grants have made a very positive difference to their lives.

“We’re now looking forward to helping more groups and improving more of our estates in our second year.”

The football event is a free Junior Youth World Cup Tournament, on July 4, which aims to attract individual children, groups of friends and non-footballing youth groups in school years two to five.

Club secretary Jonathan Warnock said: “We ran our first event last year which was very successful but we did struggle without any funding. This year, we’ll be able to comfortably hire the pitch and referees, plus give the children medals and T-shirts. We’re very grateful to Havebury for this generous donation.”

If you would like to discuss a possible project, are interested in joining the panel as a tenant member, contact stronger communities adviser Charlotte Carter on 01284 722035.