Round up for round 8 of the Community Benefit Fund

The University's Wind Turbine behind the Infolab on South Campus.

2021 marks the eighth round of funding from the University’s Community Benefit Fund and this year has been as strong as ever despite the lull in community projects due to Covid 19.

Round 8 applications were submitted over Spring, earlier this year and after some thorough consideration, the University has awarded a collective total of £20,000 across 9 community based projects – the maximum award available.

Jon Mills - Environmental Sustainability Manager, Lancaster University said 'We were uncertain whether the impact that Coronavirus has had on everybody would impact upon the number of applications we received this year but, with the University declaring a Climate Emergency, and other organisations doing the same, the applications flooded in this year, meaning we have had to be selective of the projects awarded funding. The quality of the applications received was high making selection challenging’.

9 projects have been awarding full or partial funding this year, most notably of which is the surfacing of the play park in Greaves Park, which will be carried out following a number of drainage improvements being undertaken by Lancaster City Council. The fund has awarded more than £5,000 to the Friends of Greaves Park to resurface the park, which is one of the most popular parks in Lancaster.

Gill Davies from the Friends of Greaves Park said 'The play park in Greaves Park is a very heavily used community facility for many children and families in south Lancaster, and thanks to the money provided by the University's CBF, and the works to be carried out by Lancaster City Council the park can fully resurfaced to a high standard. Friends of Greaves Park are also planning to use this opportunity to replace and refurbish the existing play equipment in the park.’

The Community Benefits fund was established in 2012 following the installation of the University’s Wind Turbine. The fund takes a portion of the cash saving benefit from the wind turbine each year to put back in to the community, offering local business, charities and local projects the opportunity to apply for part of the £20,000 funding to improve sustainability in their area.

Other projects awarded in round 8 include;

A new sustainable learning space at Moorside School and a refurbishment of the external play area at St. Thomas' Pre-School, both receiving upwards of £2500 each.

Installation of community facilities at the Stodday Picnic area on the Lune Cycle Path, including of a picnic table, benches and resurfacing works and further public and installation of new public benches on Hala Hill and Little Fell Lane.

Wild flower planting along the verges of Bailrigg Lane and works to improve accessibility to two footpaths in Scotforth, to help complete a project forming a circular walk around rural south Lancaster.

The successful recipients are:

· Aldcliffe Parish Council

· Bailrigg Residents Association

· Ellel Village Hall

· Friends of Greaves Park

· Moorside School

· Lancaster Ramblers Association

· Scotforth Parish Council

· St Thomas’ Pre-School

Applications for grants in Round 9 of the Community Benefit Fund will be accepted from early 2022 as the application window opens again.

Find out more about the Community Benefits Fund and learn about the benefits of the University’s Wind Turbine by visiting the sustainability pages online.

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