Havant council commits £438,000 to bolstering community projects

ALMOST half a million pounds is being invested into improving community facilities in Havant.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 8:21 am
Updated Thursday, 11th February 2021, 10:44 am

Havant Borough Council’s cabinet met on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the spending of its community infrastructure levy – money given to the local authority by developers to spend on projects across the borough.

Last year, 23 bids were submitted to the council, from community events to building renovations and improvements to green spaces.

From there, council officers narrowed it down to 12 projects for approval, split across coastal communities, land west of the A3(M) and the wider Havant area.

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West Street, in Havant. Picture: Melanie Leininger

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In total, £438,310 will be dished out to organisations across the borough.

Cllr Leah Turner, cabinet lead for coastal communities, said: ‘The fund helps to provide new and improved facilities for the borough residents.

‘I was pleased to see so many quality bids from a variety of projects.

‘We want to have the largest impact on our communities that we possibly can.’

One such project is work at Bedhampton Mariners Cricket Club in Bidbury Mead, which is receiving £5,460 for an artificial cricket pitch

The largest beneficiary is YMCA Emsworth, which will receive £200,000 for the construction of a new early years, youth and community centre in Redlands Grange – a project that will cost an estimated £1.5m.

It was agreed that the decision on which bids to approve was a difficult one.

Leader of Havant Borough Council, Cllr Michael Wilson, said: ‘Lots of these projects are close to the hearts of councillors – so it’s quite a key element of our work.’

Cllr Gary Hughes added: ‘I believe that the community infrastructure levy is the most emotional discussion that we have as a council, across all political parties.’

All cabinet members voted in favour of the spending, except from Cllr Hughes, who abstained due to an expressed interest in the agenda item.

The community infrastructure levy is funded by contributions from developers who have submitted successful planning applications.

Established by the government in 2008, the levy allows local authorities to spend money on a wide variety of infrastructure projects, such as sports or healthcare facilities, schools, parks and green spaces.

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