Christmas “gifts” for the community projects

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Christmas has come early for four community led projects in Garstang and surrounding rural areas.

Wyre Council’s executive has allocated £55,000 to the Rural East area to enable the key schemes to progress.

Among those benefiting are Garstang School of Gymnastics, ambitious plans for a walkway between Garstang Millennium Green and Scorton Millennium Way and the refurbishment work at Barnacre Memorial Hall.

Cash is also being made available for an upgrade to Lancaster Canal’s towpath.

But other applications for funding for Kepple Lane Park and to help fund drainage work at Catterall’s football pitch were turned down.

In all £226,127 had been requested by local projects.

Under the council’s Shaping Your Neighbourhood Initiative local communities had been asked to help devise locality plans which identified local priorities.

In the wider Garstang area these include rural isolation, the need for meeting places, health issues, fuel poverty and shortage of open space sites.

The grants, awarded from the Performance Reward Grant fund, are intended to help finance community led projects which meet these priorities.

Barnace Memorial Hall had hoped to benefit from £67,317 an extension, store, signage and redecoration.

But the council decided to provide a more modest £15,000 for insulating the walls and ceiling, replacing the main entrance doors with UPVC ones.

Some £20,000 has been allocated to extend linked pathways between Scorton Millennium path and Garstang’s Millennium Green., upgrade the Scorton Way and 
associated costs. The 
combined bid from the Trust and Way groups was for £50,000.

A Lancaster Canal Towpath upgrade application had requested £30,000 but has been awarded £10,000.

Myerscough and Bilsborrow Parish Council is to provide some additional funding and it’s hoped other cash could come from the Canal and Rivers Trust.

£10,000 is going to the gym extension project at Garstang School of Gymnastics.

This will increase the size of the facility to allow for more participants and spectators and to allow for major competitions to be held there.

The whole projects will cost £90,000, with further funding secured from Sport England and an ongoing fund-raising initiative from the club.

But there was disappointment for the second phase of the Kepple Lane Park Development.

The Kepple Lane Trust had applied for £40,000 to provide a small children’s play area, a seniors’ trim trail to redevelop a soccer pitch and to prove a specific picnic area.

A report to the Executive noted: “Funding is not recommended at this stage as it is felt that there was little evidence too demonstrate community buy in and commitment.”

Town Councillor Gordon Harter said the Kepple Lane decision was disappointing.

He felt that there had been a misunderstanding about the lack of community support which he would be addressing with Wyre Council and hopes to submit a further application in the future.

He stressed he was delighted for the projects that had successfully secured funding.

A bid for £28,810 funding to drain all of Catterall Playing Field was rejected, as was an appeal for £10,320 just to drain the football pitch.

The executive was advised that funding may be available or this work through another pot earmarked for the Bowgreave development.