Five villages benefit from new round of community grants

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A £15,000 boost has been given to a variety of projects in Suffolk’s rural communities by Suffolk Housing.

Five schemes will receive the funding through Suffolk Housing’s “village gold” initiative. Now in its third year, the funding aims to help villages improve quality of life or community facilities.

Thwaite Community Projects Group has been given £750 to improve storage at its community rooms.

Bardwell Cricket Club gets £7,000 towards the £8,200 cost of an all-weather pitch while Mendlesham Educational Foundation will receive £2,500 towards improvements at the Old School Meeting Room.

Rattlesden Pavilion will receive £2,750 for wireless internet and to improve pavilion acoustics for the choir.

Freston Village Hall gets £2,000 towards new toilets and disabled access

Ian Winslet, chief executive of Suffolk Housing, said: “Last year, our village gold funding helped a wide variety of important projects to get off the ground. We’re really pleased to be able to offer the same support to our rural communities in 2013.

“We firmly believe that amenities such as sports clubs and village halls, where peoplecan meet and socialise, are vitally important to our rural communities, especially asmany of our villages are rapidly losing facilities, such as shops, pubs and play areas.

“We hope that by continuing to help fund improvements, this initiative will help villagesbecome more sustainable so that they can flourish in the future.”

Neil Kellett, treasurer and groundsman for Bardwell Cricket Club, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the funding – there were cheers all round in our committee meeting when I announced we’d been successful.

“We have five pitches at the moment, which are used three or four times a week. The problem has been that after using a pitch, we have to wait a couple of weeks for the ground to recover. The artificial pitch will make a big difference as it means we can play