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Community fund available to improve public amenities

Parish councils and constituted groups in the Boston area are being urged to make applications for grant funding.

This is from a pot of money collected from a tax on disposal of rubbish into landfill sites.

WREN, which administers the Landfill Communities Fund on behalf of FCC Environment, wants to hear from more communities in Boston borough who want cash to improve their public amenities.

Last year in Lincolnshire WREN allocated funds totalling £779,616. In our area Fishtoft's new play area received £40,000, Boston Skate Park £15,000, Kirton Town Hall toilet refurbishment £20,000, Leverton playing field equipment upgrade £49,724 and Wyberton Sports Community Complex £75,000.

In total WREN awarded £14.7 million to 396 projects nationwide in 2012 - from playgrounds and skate parks to village hall s and nature reserves.

Boston Borough Council leader Cllr Peter Bedford, who is also a WREN regional panel member, said: "Good causes in our area have already benefited and there is money waiting to be given away. If you are involved in any community organisation and have a project you feel may make life better for people living in your patch then you should definitely consider making an application to WREN."

WREN said grant applications from Lincolnshire have been unexpectedly low. WREN's dedicated Grant Manager for the Lincolnshire area, Cheryl Raynor, is keen to see numbers increase, especially where grants could help bring together isolated rural communities.

She said:  "Lincolnshire is a large county with lots of small communities - many of which could really benefit from our help. We want to reach as many people involved in eligible projects as possible and let them know that the money is there and how to access it. That's why I'm encouraging anyone thinking about making improvements to their community to get in touch. I'm always on hand to provide advice on how the application process works and help with the completion of relevant documentation."

WREN is able to provide the grants thanks to money paid into the Landfill Communities Fund by FCC Environment. Projects must be based within ten miles of a FCC Environment landfill site to qualify for funding.

Samantha Smith from Community Lincs, which works closely with groups that may benefit from WREN funding, knows the impact these grants can have.

"WREN is a great source of funding for projects that would otherwise struggle to raise large sums of money. Funding is essential in improving the quality of life of those living in rural communities who may not have the services they need.

"We urge local groups to apply for WREN funding as it encourages them to communicate and work together, and we've already seen some great results."

For more information go to www.wren.org.uk

Cheryl can be contacted on Cheryl.raynor@wren.org.uk or on 01623 755319

Grants administrator Katherine James can be contacted on Katherine.james@wren.org.uk or 01953 714108

Freiston Playing Field ribbon cutting Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

WREN helped fund new play equipment at Freiston playing field. Granddaughter Gabriella is pictured helping granddad, Cllr Peter Bedford, cut the ribbon. Also pictured, from left, playing fields management committee member John Wright, the Rev Andrew Higginson and co-project leader Alistair Godwin