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Grant money aids community projects

Colin Bullock is one of a team of volunteers keeping Greetham’s thriving Community Centre running smoothly
Colin Bullock is one of a team of volunteers keeping Greetham’s thriving Community Centre running smoothly

Greetham is benefiting from almost £40,000 of Section 106 grant funding from Rutland County Council, helping to support two community projects within the village.

Developers are required to contribute S106 funding towards new or improved facilities and services whenever new homes are built.

Two projects in Greetham were recently awarded vital funds as a result of this process; Colin Bullock is one of a team of volunteers keeping Greetham’s thriving community centre running smoothly. He was thrilled when the centre was awarded £12,000 S106 grant funding to replace an ageing heating system.

He said: “At least 150 people use the community centre each week, so when the original boiler and heating system was condemned, we feared the lack of hot water and heat would force us to close. Thankfully, we managed to source a temporary solution to cover the winter months.

“The grant we received shows the positive effects growth can have; helping to support communities and make services more sustainable.

“With the new boiler, heating and hot water system is in place, we’re now back up to full capacity; hosting a variety of community events, sporting activities, weddings and functions – including our Summer ball, which was the first big event following the upgrade.”

In addition to Greetham Community Centre, £27,500 of S106 funding has been used to boost the fundraising efforts of villagers who raised more than £10,000 to transform the village’s community play area.

S-J Dryland, chairman of the Greetham Community Play Area Committee, said: “I always knew that Greetham had a very strong community spirit, but the drive to get the new play area off the ground has been out of this world! It’s been an amazing team effort and I’m really proud of everyone for pitching in and supporting us.

“With about 250 children living in Greetham, these new facilities will be a welcome addition to the village.

“The contribution from Rutland County Council was a huge boost to our fundraising; it was the first major grant we received and marked the point at which we realised ‘Wow! This is really going to happen!’ We’re so grateful to the council for paving the way for us to raise even more sponsorship towards this fantastic project.”

Rather than simply replacing the existing equipment on a like-for-like basis, the play area is undergoing a complete transformation in order to better meet the different needs of the community.

S-J added: “The play area is well on its way to completion and should be ready soon. In the longer term, we’re planning a big opening day on Saturday, September 8, and will also be developing a nature play area, including willow tunnels, a willow wigwam and bug hotels.”

Coun Gordon Brown, newly appointed portfolio holder for planning at Rutland County Council, said: “It’s important that existing communities benefit whenever development takes place in our county, whether this is funding to improve local services, facilities or infrastructure.

“This is a key principal of S106 funding and why it gives me such pleasure to see these two projects in Greetham coming to fruition. Well done to all those who have been involved and worked so tirelessly to make the improvements happen.”

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