MORE than £22,000 has been given to a council to promote healthy living.
Gosport Borough Council received the grant to launch a pilot project which will identify areas of health that need improving in the town.
Once identified, the council will then look to develop and deliver community-led initiatives to encourage lifestyle changes.
The project will target Rowner and the town centre.
Hampshire County Council awarded the money through its Public Health grant allocation to support a number of local projects.
Of the £1m which was allocated last year, the remaining £103,000 was split between nine projects.
Gosport Borough Council received £22,887.
Town councillor Roger Allen said the money was much needed.
‘I think it is great that we got this money,’ he said.
‘It is difficult when you are trying to promote healthy lifestyles and trying to improve health when there isn’t any money.
‘We have got quite a lot of problems in Gosport with obesity and smoking – especially in deprived areas so it is good that we can start a project to educate people on how to be healthier.’
The funding will be used specifically for providing activities during the winter months when the number of people taking part in sport declines, as well as ensuring that existing activities have the means to carry on long term by offering support.
It will also help with the development of the Hampshire Physical Activity Plan which encourages people to be more physical in their day-to-day activities.
Councillor Allen added: ‘Gosport has a bad reputation for being the fattest town in Hampshire, maybe further afield.
‘The money will hopefully give us the chance to educate people on their lifestyles so they can help themselves.’
The county council’s executive member for public health, Councillor Liz Fairhurst, added: ‘Improving the health and wellbeing of Hampshire residents is a priority.
‘The Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy lays out clear objectives and these grants will target some of the key issues that have the potential to hamper good health and wellbeing.
‘All of the projects that were awarded funding had to demonstrate impact on improving wellbeing as well as sustainability for the future.’