£94,000 of grants to fund community work

(L-r) Iain Lucas, chief officer for Rowner Community Trust, Nick Scott, community and youth facilitator, volunteers Coral Palmer, Helen Cross and Jennie Deans
(L-r) Iain Lucas, chief officer for Rowner Community Trust, Nick Scott, community and youth facilitator, volunteers Coral Palmer, Helen Cross and Jennie Deans

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Four community buildings have won grants totalling £94,000 to pay for vital improvements.

The cash was given by The Veolia Environmental Trust, part of the Veolia group which collects waste across the area.

HOPE Portsmouth has been awarded £21,541 to fund the next phase of the renovation of the King Church’s 100-year-old community hall on Somers Road.

The building was purchased in 2015 by the group and it has started the process of turning it into a venue for community activities and events.

This phase of work will see the creation of a kitchen and improvements to the toilets.

A trustee of HOPE Portsmouth, Catherine Gray, said: ‘This grant will help us complete the next stage of creating a centre for all to use and enjoy.’

The trust has also awarded Portsmouth Disability Forum £10,468 to fund repairs to windows and a new boiler at its base, the Frank Sorrell Centre in Prince Albert Road, Southsea.

PDF’s principal officer, Lynne Rigby, said: ‘It’s important that this building is comfortable and warm and this grant will enable us to achieve this.’

The Nimrod Community Centre, in Falcon Meadows Way, Gosport, will receive £31,912 through the Rowner Community Trust.

RCT will use the money to fund a new heating system and insulation.

RCT’s chief officer, Iain Lucas, said: ‘The work this grant will fund will create a better environment for the centre’s current users and will create a more attractive venue for new ones.’

John Pounds Community Trust has been awarded £30,589 for fitness equipment in the John Pounds Centre in Queen Street, Portsmouth.

JPCT’s projects manager, Paul Hutchings said: ‘The facilities that this grant will fund will be available to all, including often excluded groups, creating an important resource for the area and the city.’

The equipment will give everyone – including disabled people – the chance to exercise and keep fit in a well-equipped gym.

The grants are four of 43 awarded by the Veolia board to community and environmental projects in England, with a grant of over £980,000.

The trust gave grants through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Since 1997, it has awarded over £10.9m to 276 projects in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The trust will now start working with the 
organisations to finalise their projects’ details, including start dates.

Executive director of the Veolia Environmental Trust Paul Taylor said: ‘These projects will transform these buildings, making them warmer and better-equipped, benefiting the whole community.

‘We are seeing an ongoing reduction in the amount of funds that we can award, so these organisations need to be congratulated on 
securing their grants in an extremely competitive environment.’