Communities set to gain from extra cash - The Evesham Observer

Communities set to gain from extra cash

Evesham Editorial 29th Apr, 2018   0

RAILWAY station car park improvements and more money for local communities are part of £16million cash injection which was given the green light by Wychavon District Council chiefs.

The cash boost has been made possible thanks to the New Homes Bonus which was introduced in 2011 and is a grant paid by central government to councils to reflect and incentivise housing growth in their areas.

The vast majority of councils keep the money and use it to run their everyday services.

Council chiefs have decided to allocate £3.5million of funding for communities where development took place and gave parishes the opportunity to come up with ideas of what do with it.

Parishes have so far shared in over £1.4million of this and have funded village hall improvements, speeding signs, play areas, defibrillators, outdoor table tennis to name just a few.

In addition Wychavon retained around £9.5million in New Homes Bonus and spent it on a variety of bigger projects such as affordable housing, regeneration schemes, grants, improvement to leisure facilities, Worcester Six Business Park and flood prevention schemes.

And now Wychavon chiefs estimate a further £16million of New Homes Bonus payments from the Government in the next few years with £12million going to council led projects which will directly benefit communities and the local economy.

These include investment in the new housing company, the strategic land investment fund, railway station car parking improvements and improved leisure services.

Up to £3million will be spent on a brand new Community Legacy Grant scheme that parish and town councils can bid for. The scheme will be used to support innovative and ambitious projects that meet evidenced local needs, have local support and will make a lasting difference to communities.

Around £1million for grants and existing commitments. These include the annual grants to the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and the district’s three volunteer centres along with the annual community grants scheme, provide support for events, the Droitwich West project and the Rural Communities Programme.

Council leader, Coun Linda Robinson, said: “This is great news for communities across the district.

“We’re in a fortunate position as unlike other councils we do not need to use this money to pay for day to day services. “It is all available for investment in the district and we should, therefore, be ambitious as this is a one off opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of those who live in, work in and visit our district.”


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