Despite the challenging financial times, Nottinghamshire County Council has launched its Local Improvement Scheme Capital Fund.
Organisations can apply for up to £50,000 as a contribution towards capital projects and schemes that improve lives, champion heritage and support local communities to be strong, vibrant and resilient.
The county council is particularly keen to hear from projects which promote the county’s Mayflower Pilgrim roots, as local and national plans are put in place for an expected surge in visitors from the United States in 2020.
The 2020 Mayflower commemorations will mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower ship sailing from England to America. Many of the Mayflower Pilgrims – including their leader, William Brewster from Scrooby, near Retford – were from Nottinghamshire. Today, a staggering 35 million people claim an ancestral lineage that runs back through 15 generations to the ‘founding fathers’ on board the Mayflower.
Councillor John Handley, Vice-Chairman of the Communities and Place Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, recently visited a new outdoor gym and zip wire in Bestwood Village, after awarding the parish council more than £9,000 from the previous round of Capital Funding to boost healthy living and provide young people with positive activities to dissuade anti-social behaviour.
He also cited the impact of work by Feel Good Gardens, a social gardening project promoting health and wellbeing for people who are lonely and isolated, suffering a range of physical and mental health issues. The scheme received more than £17,000 to enhance facilities at its Kings Clipstone base from the previous round of Capital Funding.
Councillor Handley said: “The Capital Fund is part of our Local Improvement Scheme which is designed to provide financial help and support to local communities.
“We are very excited to be launching another round of Capital Funding this year. The zip wire and outdoor gym at Bestwood Village, and the modernisation programme for Feel Good Gardens in Clipstone, are wonderful examples of the sorts of scheme that can be successful through the Capital Fund.
“If you have an idea and can clearly demonstrate how it will transform the lives of local people in your area, boost local amenities, promote our heritage and support the local economy, then now is the time to apply.”
Organisations should be based in Nottinghamshire and demonstrate how the capital project / asset will benefit Nottinghamshire residents.
Applications should be submitted by 28 February, 2019. To apply, visit the Nottinghamshire County Council website: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/capital #NottsCapitalFund
Case study one: Outdoor Gym and Zipwire, Bestwood Village
Bestwood Village Parish Council was awarded £9,585 from last year’s Local Improvement Scheme Capital Fund for an outdoor gym and zip wire, encouraging community cohesion and reducing anti-social behaviour. The project was supported by the local County Councillor for Newstead, Coun Chris Barnfather.
Around 320 people out of 800 responded to a village wide survey asking for views about how local amenities could be improved, especially in light of a new housing development which had brought around 200 new homes to the area.
Coun Jack Ashworth, Vice-Chair of Bestwood Village Parish Council, said: “This outdoor facility will improve the physical and mental health of local families by enabling them to enjoy a happier, healthier and more active lifestyle.
“The project encourages families to be active together by providing a zipwire for younger children next to the outdoor gym where adults and children aged over 14 years old can use the gym, as well as providing a positive activity for young people to enjoy in the local area.
“We are very grateful to the county council’s Local Improvement Scheme Capital Fund for making it possible. Compared to many sources of funding, it was relatively straight forward to apply for and we are delighted with the end result which will bring a huge boost to local residents.”
Coun Handley said: “It is a wonderful new facility. Families with older children can exercise together and with the zip wire on the same plot of land those with younger children can be entertained as well.”
Councillor Barnfather said: “I was delighted to support this application for a Capital Fund grant. Children observing their parents being active provides a positive image of exercise and will help to encourage the notion that being active is a normal past time rather than a chore, helping to create a healthy sporting habit for life.”
Case study two: Feel Good Gardens, near Kings Clipstone
Feel Good Gardens CIC was awarded £17,100 and the application was supported by the local Member for Sherwood Forest, County Councillor John Peck.
Feel Good Gardens is an ongoing social gardening project promoting health and well being with both professional and self referral of people who are lonely and isolated with a range of physical and mental health issues.
The group is using the £17,500 Capital Fund grant to convert portable cabins into a large classroom, putting in power to poly tunnels, laying new flooring in the buildings, and other improvements include a wood workshop, (a suggestion from our volunteers), so that it can do its own woodwork and make things to sell.
Feel Good Gardens’ large community garden at Forestry Holdings, near Kings Clipstone and Sherwood Pines in North Nottinghamshire, supports health, wellbeing and social inclusion by offering social gardening sessions, or ‘work parties’.
The work parties are particularly aimed at people who are socially excluded and for whom this type of activity – working outdoors and growing your own produce – would otherwise be very difficult if not impossible.
Organiser Clare Heyting said: “There is an abundance of evidence that shows that gardening and community gardening benefits health, fitness and wellbeing, particularly for older, disabled and isolated people, and people living with long-term health conditions. We plan to benefit as many people as possible through our work parties and social events.
“Local statistics show that the older population is increasing and so are the demands put on society by an ageing population. Gardening into old age has been shown to have health and preventive benefits and can reduce isolation, prevent falls, and delay conditions such as dementia.”
Coun Handley said: “This successful bid for LIS Capital Fund support will help this organisation not only to enhance its current excellent service but also fulfil its sustainability proposal to help it further prosper in the future. Providing power to the polytunnels mean it can introduce heated benches, propagators, lighting, and a watering system to increase the range of plants that it grows.”
Coun Peck said: “There are few community gardens around and there tends to be waiting lists for allotments. Allotments in any case are not suitable for the type of people who come to Feel Good Gardens because there is not the same kind of help and advice you would get at a structured work party. Feel Good Gardens is geared towards empowering people with disabilities or long-term health problems.”
All the improvements will transform how the building and site are used and enable us to generate more of our own income in the future, making the project more sustainable. They are being matched funded by Lottery Awards for All and some other smaller funders.