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ONE of the country’s most deprived areas – Fareham Park – is set to receive a cash boost from the council.

Fareham Borough Council will let community groups bid for a share of £17,500 in the hope that it will become a nicer community to live in.

The council is inviting groups to submit ideas which could make a difference in the Fareham Park area.

The money asked for can be as little as £250 or up to £2,500.

The council is hoping to receive entries from residents, community groups and voluntary organisations.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘I think it is an excellent initiative.

‘In 2008, Fareham Park was found to be in the bottom three per cent in terms of deprivation in England.

‘It came up on our radar as being very significantly deprived and we put a significant amount into the Highlands Hub to develop it as a drop-in centre.’

The Highlands Hub is a centre and cafe on Highlands Road which provides a space for community groups to meet and allows people access to computers and the internet. It has proved a successful way of getting the community to engage in projects.

Cllr Woodward continued: ‘We realise that at the moment it is what the community does for itself which will be what improves it.

‘The Fareham Park Purse is all about that, it’s self-help effectively.’

Once applications have been received by the council, the public will be asked to vote on which ones should get a share of the cash.

The council plan to tie-in voting day with the summer fair on Saturday, July 20.

As well as the usual family fun activities, residents will be able to view the projects and have their say.

Executive Member for leisure and community Cllr Connie Hockley said: ‘I would encourage as many groups and people as possible who think they can help make a difference to the Fareham Park area to apply for funding.

‘You can apply for funding for new and existing projects with ideas such as buying plants for a community garden, running a youth club or setting up a lunch club for older people.’

The Fareham Park purse closes on Sunday, July 10.

The application form and guidance notes can be downloaded at fareham.gov.uk/grants.

For more information please contact the Fareham Park project officer Susie Higgs on 01329 824441 or email shiggs@fareham.gov.uk .