Wecock Farm awarded £1m by Big Local National Lottery fund

From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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THE first steps to decide how to spend a £1m windfall have been taken.

As revealed by The News, Wecock Farm, in Waterlooville, is to receive lottery funding of £100,000 for the next 10 years.

The money will go towards making a lasting impact on the community – and, crucially, it is the community who will decide how it is spent.

A group of local partners has already been set up. The first key activity is for the local partners to go out and engage with the community and will involve promoting the Big Local, encouraging residents to get involved and finding out how the community wants the £1 million to be invested.

David Sambells, Portsmouth City Council’s area housing manager for Wecock Farm said: ‘I’m delighted that the Big Local has been awarded to the Wecock Farm community.

‘It will bring together all the local talent, ambitions, skills, ideas and energy from individuals, groups, and organisations who want to make Wecock Farm an even better place to live.’

In the early stages a steering group of eight to 15 local people will be established.

At least 51 per cent of the group must be residents but may also include representatives from local organisations. The role of the steering group is to move the programme forward by developing a Big Local Vision, forming a Big Local Partnership and a Big Local Plan. These stages could take more than 12 months, and once complete the money will then be made available for projects.

For more information on the Wecock Farm Big Local contact Annette Kemp on 07930 187249, or go to the Big Local website localtrust.org.uk.