Councillor funding for Abbey Heritage Partnership in Bury St Edmunds, new seating in Culford and defibrillator in West Stow
Children's theatre workshops and events to help celebrate the heritage of Bury St Edmunds' Abbey are among several community projects to have been backed by councillor funding.
The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership is to receive more than £6,200 in locality budget funding from St Edmundsbury Borough Councillors Patrick Chung, Robert Everitt, Sarah Stamp, Clive Springett, Julia Wakelam and Frank Warby, and from Bury St Edmunds Town Councillors John Augustine, Wayne Hailstone, Tom Murray and Andrew Speed.
Locality funding is where councillors can use money allocated to them to support projects and community groups in the area.
It will help seven projects to run a series of community engagement events and children’s theatre workshops, to produce a new visitor leaflet and wall map about the Abbey of St Edmund and to help develop website content, social media, and IT to help communicate the work of the heritage partnership.
Rev Canon Matthew Vernon, chairman of the heritage partnership, said: "We are grateful for this funding which will help us to develop our work further and communicate what we are doing more effectively.
"This will be important in our bids to the new National Lottery Heritage Fund (formerly HLF) to support the 2020 Millennium Celebrations and to fund future projects."
Meanwhile, St Edmundsbury Borough Cllr Susan Glossop and Suffolk County Cllr Rebecca Hopfensperger have provided funding to help replace much needed chairs at Culford Village Hall and install a new defibrillator in West Stow.
The seats will be used by the Culford Community Café as well as a number of organisations that meet at the village hall regularly.
The equipment and installation was funded through £500 from Cllr Glossop; £1,000 from Cllr Hopfensperger's locality fund and £1,563 from the parish council.
Tony Bate, treasurer for the village hall committee, said: "Everyone who uses the village hall in Culford, from the baby sensory classes to the monthly cafe and including the many meetings held there, is delighted with the comfortable new chairs."
The new defibrillator has been installed at the community hall in West Stow village and is the second to be introduced in the parish, with one already in place in Culford.
Cllrs Glossop and Hopfensperger each provided £500 with £666 from the parish council.
Businessman and campaigner Paul Hicklin, of Bury, who has been helping communities install defibrillators following his father’s death, was also part of the initiative.
He said: “The evidence is clear that following a sudden cardiac arrest the use of early defibrillation significantly improves the person’s chance of recovery.
"Survival of a sudden cardiac arrest depends on a series of critical links that together form the chain of survival.
"This includes ringing 999; early CPR to maintain blood flow and early defibrillation to re-establish the heart’s natural rhythm.
"I was delighted to work with the local councillors to install this vital equipment for their communities."
Across West Suffolk, communities can access £650,000 in annual funding from the councillor locality budget, community chest as well as regional and national grant opportunities.
In 2018/19, more than £400,000 was granted to community led projects.