New investment for community projects in Colchester

New investment for community projects in Colchester

Residents and community groups across Colchester have been confirmed as some of the first to benefit from Essex County Council’s (ECC) new Community Challenge Fund.

Launched earlier this year, the fund is enabling people to turn ideas for improving their local communities into reality.

Local people know their area best and how to bring people together, support one another and improve the local environment.

ECC’s new £500,000 Community Challenge Fund, which is currently available in the six priority levelling up areas, is successfully enabling local people to make a real difference improving their own neighbourhoods, supporting the delivery of the County Council’s countywide Everyone’s Essex strategy.

Details of some of the successful applicants were announced today (Friday 24 June) at ECC’s Levelling Up Colchester launch event at the Mercury Theatre.

Grants of between £300 to £2,000 have already been allocated to support a variety of new community projects.

These range from the provision of free outdoor exercise classes to the growing of vegetables in a local community garden.

Other funds awarded will see people coming together to plant seed bombs to create new wildlife habitats and help local volunteers address people’s worries and anxiety around the cost of mealtimes with the provision of recipe cards to plan more affordable healthy meals.

Cllr Louise McKinlay, ECC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnership and Performance, said: “Our community challenge fund is allowing our residents to bring their own ideas for strengthening their local communities to life.

“Whilst this fund has only just launched, already £4,600 has been awarded to applicants in Colchester across a fantastic range of community projects.

“We are now looking to expand the criteria, so even more people will be eligible to apply for the fund and I look forward to seeing more ideas come through and see the results of these develop over the coming year.”

The fund is open for applications until March 2023.

Greenstead resident Hazel Calver, a recent recipient of the Community Challenge Fund, said: “The fund was quick and easy to apply for and will make a big difference to the community here in Greenstead.

“We applied for £500 for our community garden, to help bring local people together to grow our own veggies and do some seed and plant swapping.

“We hope it will help to support more local volunteering in the area and encourage people to start their own veggie gardens at home.

“This money is also important as it encourages our neighbours to get together and improve their physical and mental wellbeing, encouraging us all to adopt a healthier lifestyle by being outside and eating healthier food.”

Find out more or apply for the Essex Community Challenge Fund here.

Last updated 24 June 2022