Church community project benefits from Lancaster University grant funding

A photo of the St Thomas' Community Centre with blue and yellow balloons at the entrance.

The Community Benefit funding contributed towards the energy efficiency of the project, which included the demolition of the original church hall to provide new, purpose-built, multi-use community space.

The grant was allocated towards the provision of solar PV panels and energy efficient measures that will reduce carbon emissions and improve overall efficiency of the building. The project also creates two new part-time job roles and will support around 30 volunteer roles.

Last week, St Thomas’ held an official opening for the new community building, inviting members of the project, funders and the local community to view the premises and give thanks.

Stephen Taylor of St Thomas’ Lancaster said: ‘Projects such as these are so important to our community, as a place of support, welcome and comfort to so many. We are very grateful to the Community Benefits Fund and nine other charities for their grants, and, of course, to our very generous congregation’.

St Thomas’ Preschool also received contributions from Round 8 in 2021 to extend the main play area, comprising of resurfacing and installation of new fences, sunshades and other works.

The fund originated with the installation of the University's wind turbine in 2012. The wind turbine produces around 15% of the overall energy demand on campus each year and the Community Benefits Fund uses some of the savings provided by the turbine to engage with the local community and support sustainable projects.

The fund awards local communities across the Lancaster District with grant funding for community based and environmental projects and allocates up to £20,000 to Lancaster District based not-for-profit organisations, charities, trusts, community groups or voluntary organisations to support sustainable projects each year.

This year’s application window for Round 9 of the Community Benefit Fund is set to open at the end of March.

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