First steps in spending £1m on Fratton move forward

BUSY Last year's May Fayre at St Mary's Church in Fratton
BUSY Last year's May Fayre at St Mary's Church in Fratton
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage.

Picture: Steve Reid

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PLANS to make an area of Portsmouth a better place to work and live are taking shape.

As previously reported, £1m will be spent on Fratton over the next decade, and the first £100,000 will be spent this year.

It’s part of the Fratton Big Local project, being led by Fratton Big Local Partnership.

Now, Community Action Hampshire has been picked to employ staff that will help make plans happen, and hold the first lot of money safely.

Linda Johnson, of the Fratton Big Local project, said: ‘We decided that Community Action Hampshire was the right choice, because of its 60-plus years’ experience of community development work, its own experiences and its commitment to working with people in the community.

‘We are really looking forward to making definite steps forwards with Community Action Hampshire and the plans for Fratton.

It now means the cash, made available in the form of a lottery grant, can start being used.

It will be spent on improving shops, getting rid of litter, improving wildlife and installing hanging baskets.

Historic walks could be introduced around the grounds of St Mary’s Church.

Better use will be made of open spaces and popular events such as May Fayre will be expanded.

And there’s plans to hold a new summer event where local shops can get involved.

A community development worker and an administrator are being sought, as well as more local and committed volunteers.

Linda said: ‘Fratton Big Local is being delivered by a small partnership board. We are working hard to make progress, but always need people who are up for making a difference.’

Residents can find out more about getting involved at this year’s May Fayre, being held at St Mary’s Church, in Fratton Road, Portsmouth, on Monday, May 5.

The event attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year and raises money for a range of local causes.

Big Local is a £200m investment, launched by the Big Lottery Fund in July 2010.

It was set up to help make urban and rural communities better places to live.