Communities share in Breckland grant windfall

Communities across Breckland have received a series of grants totalling more than �30,000 in a bid to improve the lives of residents.

Cash from Breckland Council amounting to �30, 975 will enable a variety of new activities to either continue or begin, including a new play area, healthy living initiative and even bowls.

Included is the Thetford Healthy Town project which was established three years ago from �900,000 of government money and was one of a handful of pilot schemes across the country.

To date, the venture has engaged about 7,000 adults and children in a bid to increase their physical activity and eat more healthly but funding ran out in March this year.

A grant of �20,000 from Breckland Council will now enable the introduction of new activities such as Park Run, a cycling club, Thetford World Cup, for youngsters who play football, and expansion of the scheme into the rural areas of Thetford and Attleborough.

Programme manager Tony Trotman said: “We will be able to put on more projects and keep a number running with �15,000 of this and to keep working with local health professionals, providing community engagement to a high level.

“The remaining will give us the opportunity to work in Attleborough and work with community groups to look at learnings we’ve gained from Thetford and how we can help the community.

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“The money will be entirely spent on the community, there won’t be any management costs or anything like that and we will be starting up a local steering group to see exactly what they would like us to do with health provision. We would also like to support groups in rural Thetford, whereas before we’d mainly kept to the town itself.”

Meanwhile, Thetford Town Council secured �4,675 towards a mobile seating rake for the Carnegie Rooms which can be stored at the back of the hall and will give the audience an improved view of the stage.

Lynda Turner, Breckland Council executive member for Localism, Community and Environmental Services said: “The council’s match funding scheme is there to support worthwhile initiatives that will benefit their communities.

“All three projects will help bring people together - whether it’s through taking part in activities, attending community events or meeting other parents whilst children play safely.”

Others to have benefited from Breckland grant funding this summer include Sporle Village Centre which received a �2,250.