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Council distributes cash to local projects

Local groups are celebrating after becoming the first recipients of new Gosport Borough Council grants, together totalling more than £46,000.

The council has set up two new funds - one for community and one for heritage - that groups and organisations can apply to. The first round of grants has now been decided.

One of the first recipients, the not-for-profit Gosportarians group, has been given £5,000 from the community fund towards the cost of their new minibus. This provides a weekly free service to other organisations.

Malcom Dent, the group's chair, said: "The Gosportarians are delighted. £5,000 is a lovely amount to be awarded - we weren't expecting to get that amount. We'd like to thank the council for letting us have the money."

The Historical Diving Society, which runs the borough's Diving Museum, was given £15,500 from the heritage fund. This will go towards a major restoration project at its premises, No.2 Battery, aimed at opening up the whole building to the public.

Other grants, all from the community fund, are as follows:

  • £6,000 to the 12th Gosport Scout Group, which needs to repair the leaky roof on its scout hut.  
  • £2,500 to Yellow Edge Gallery, which is planning a series of art courses, demonstrations and talks for local community groups and residents.
  • £4,820 for St Matthew's Church, which is planning an allotment in its grounds for local residents, pre-school children and school pupils.
  • £4,000 for Friends of Hardway, which is planning free watersports events during the summer holidays.                 
  • £400 for the Repair Café Gosport, which combats waste and saves residents money by repairing their items. It needs more specialist tools.
  • £800 for C2U Gosport, a community group which helps homeless people, veterans and vulnerable residents. It is proposing to host a community street party in the High Street for the Coronation.
  • £1,000 for the Stoke Road Community group, which plans to hold an event with children's activities, arts and crafts workshops and entertainment.
  • £532 for Gosport Community Cinema , which plans to show free films to vulnerable residents at local community venues.
  • £1,800 for Montserrat Events, which wants to buy a sound system and a waterproof stage cover, and is planning community celebrations for the Coronation, including a street party in Lee-on-the-Solent.
  • £2,000 for Portsmouth Harbour Marine, which is planning to hold the Gosport Marine Festival later this year.            
  • £2,000 for young adults charity Level Up Gosport, which is planning a three-year work experience programme with the council's parks and gardens team.

Cllr Peter Chegwyn, Leader of the Council, said: "We had so many very worthwhile and imaginative applications to consider, from right across the community. We can't give everything that's requested, but I'm very pleased that we have been able to meet some real needs and help some excellent projects get off the ground. I'd encourage local groups and organisations to start working on applications for our next round of grants."

The community fund gives grants of up to £20,000, while the heritage fund provides grants of up to £50,000. The next deadline for applications for funding is 12 May. For more details, and to apply, please go to the grants page.

Grants have been awarded on a provisional basis, subject to additional information being supplied by the applicants.

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