Local Community Groups Share £40k Windfall

Local Community Groups Share £40k Windfall

2020 saw 13 local projects sharing a £40,000 windfall awarded through the Crook Hill Community Fund. The latest awards take the total amount distributed since the Fund launched in 2016 to over £180,000.

Scooping £6,300 to improve Whittles Park in Littleborough was Littleborough Boxing Club (LBC). Mark Oldham, Charity Director at LBC commented: “This Grant is massive not just for the club but for the surrounding area. This opens up a 3.5 acre space for kids to play football and rounders, for local schools to use and the boxing and running club will also use the site. It’s going to convert a struggling ground into one which provides endless opportunity.”

Also celebrating their £2,750 grant award was Rochdale Walton Angling Society (RWAS). Barry Watkins, Treasurer, RWAS commented: “This award providing three new fishing pegs will be a great asset to our Society and help to promote our aim of social and family angling in our area as well as assisting our less able members. At the same time we will be using 100% recycled materials (made from plastic milk bottles) otherwise destined for landfill for the actual pegs which will also be anti-slip, safe and maintenance free.”

The other projects being supported this year are Ebor Studio, The Star Tree Studio CIC, Whitworth Vale & Healey Band, Littleborough Civic Trust, Wardle Volunteers, Littleborough Food & Drink Festival, Whitworth in Bloom, Whitworth Sports Council, 17th Rochdale 1st Wardle Scouts, Keep Whitworth Tidy and Wardle Academy Band Association.

This year’s grant awards were made just as the Covid-19 crisis was unfolding across the world. To react positively to the situation, Crook Hill Wind Farm which provides the money for the Fund has announced changes to next year’s eligibility criteria to ensure as many groups as possible can apply for funding. The temporary changes for 2021 are:

  • Priority will no longer be given to groups able to provide match funding. This acknowledges the fact that that some groups will struggle to provide match funding at present due to the impact of Covid-19.
  • Re-application restrictions have been lifted. Groups that were awarded a grant in 2020 may re-apply. This acknowledges the fact that groups could have applied this year before Covid-19 really hit and may therefore now have a more urgent need for grant funding that wasn’t foreseen when they last applied.

Liz Payne, Grant Director, GrantScape commented: “The Fund criteria changes which are being made in response to the global Covid-19 situation, will help at a local level. More groups will now be able to apply for grant support in 2021 to help them adapt should the situation continue and recover as the crisis passes.”

The funding for the Community Fund is provided by Crook Hill Wind Farm which is managed by independent investment firm, Vantage Infrastructure (www.vantageinfra.com), with support of Partnerships for Renewables (www.pfr.co.uk). The Fund distributes £35,000 annually over the 20 – 25 year lifetime of the project. Groups located within a 5km radius of the wind farm can apply for grants of between £250 and £10,000. The Fund is administered by GrantScape.

A full list of groups supported through the Fund can be found here.

Groups wishing to find out more can click here or contact the Grant Team on 01908 247630. The next application deadline is 8 February 2021.