Grants boost for communities

parson drove skate park
parson drove skate park

Grants totalling more than £520,000 have been handed out to villages by Fenland District Council over the past two years for major projects benefiting their communities.

And there is another £317,000 still in the kitty for successful applicants. The funding has come from the council’s Rural Capital Grants scheme. Since 2011, 13 applications have been successful and six projects have been completed.

The grants, which add up to £520,158, are highlighted in a report going to the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday (April 15). The report examines progress in delivering the Localism priority.

The biggest beneficiary to date is Benwick, which received £100,000 to develop its village hall.

Other villages with projects that have been completed with the help of grants are:

Wimblington: £35,000 for Parkfield Sports Club to put towards new drainage and storage facilities for its equipment.

Parson Drove: £18,655 for a new skate park and £15,000 for its Safer Routes to School project to

help pay for new signage and road improvements.

Newton: £26,808 for the Parish Council: towards phase 1 of the village’s play area.

Another grant of £17,710 was awarded to the Fenland Association of Community Transport to pay for two second-hand buses.

Six other approved projects are currently under way: Newton, for phase 2 of its play area, Thorney

Toll village hall, Doddington skate park, Gorefield village hall, Parson Drove footpath project and

Eastrea village hall. A seventh – for revamping the village hall in Christchurch – has yet to start.

The Rural Capital Grants scheme was set up in 2010, when £850,000 was set aside specifically

for capital projects in rural areas. Groups can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £100,000; they must have secured at least 50 per cent match funding.

There is £317,000 still available under the scheme. For more information on how to apply,

contact Hetty Thornton, senior community support officer at FDC, on 01354 654321 or email

Pictured is the grant-aided skate park at Parson Drove.