Richmondshire community groups benefit from grants

Gill Davies presents a cheque for £500 to Virginia Arrowsmith and Robert Carter, a Trustee of The Wensleydale Railway Association, with Scruton Station volunteers looking on.

Supporting educational visits at a restored railway station, restoring an historic village hall and buying a defibrillator are just a few examples of how a community fund has supported local projects in the last 12 months.

Broadacres has a Community Development Fund which awards grants of up to £500 to assist community-based projects in areas where it has housing.

A panel made up of Broadacres’ customers meet every three months to discuss the applications and the final awards for the year 2016/17 have just been made, bringing the total for the year to £12,000.

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Among the projects which have received funding are:

  • Hunton Parent & Toddler Group – to enable the group to replace play park equipment

  • Colburn Community Café – to help Richmond Community & Voluntary Action to fund meals at the café for six months

Also among those receiving a grant, for the maximum £500, were The Wensleydale Railway Association Trust.

The trust last year reopened Scruton Station after a 13-year restoration programme which saved the building from ruin, but needed funding to provide a water supply to enhance the Station’s use as a community resource.

Virginia Arrowsmith, Heritage Education Officer for Wensleydale Railway, said: “The Scruton Station project has been a real labour of love for the volunteers and whilst we were delighted to restore it to the condition it would have been in the early 1900s, the work has not stopped there.

“It was always our intention to use the station as a community educational facility, enabling schoolchildren and families to visit and see the station staff in period costume, so they really get a feel for what it must have been like here in the past.

“For us to greatly enhance our offer to visiting schools and the public, we needed to have hot and cold water on site, so the grant provided by Broadacres has made a great contribution to us being able to provide this.”

The station will be open to the public on 9-10 September from 10am-4pm as part of the national Heritage Open Days programme, with free informal tours, children’s activities and vintage refreshments on offer.

Gill Davies, Broadacres’ Community Involvement Officer, said: “We received some fantastic applications in 2016/17 and it is great to have been able to support so many worthwhile projects.

“Having visited several of the projects myself, it is clear what a difference this funding can make and everyone is so appreciative of the help we are able to provide.

“Grants are approved by our Community Development Fund Award Group, which is made up of our residents, and we are now accepting applications for the 2017/18 funding year.”

For more information on the process click here.