Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

£240,000 boost for Central Bedfordshire communities

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Much-loved facilities in Central Bedfordshire will benefit from council grants worth £240,000, supporting communities in the area and some of their most disadvantaged residents for years to come.

The money will enable 12 charities, voluntary groups and town and parish councils across the Central Bedfordshire area to invest in their facilities, improving access, reducing running costs, and creating better spaces for the benefit of their respective communities.

The grants are fully funded by the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF).

Projects to be completed between now and the end of March include: improvements to a building used to help unemployed young people develop new skills; community and sensory gardens; new play equipment; and improvements to accessibility for people using wheelchairs or pushing buggies. They will support communities in Dunstable, Flitwick, and Leighton Buzzard, along with Shefford, Sandy, Caddington, Potton, Woburn and Barton-le-Clay.

Councillor Mary Walsh, our Executive Member for Planning, and chair of the Local Partnership Group said:

We’re thrilled to be able to announce the award of these grants. Through an application process, we received 50 expressions of interest from groups across Central Bedfordshire, which are all doing great work in their communities. The UKSPF funding is limited, of course, but at a time when councils across the country are facing huge financial challenges, we’re very pleased to be able to support 12 fantastic projects that support our residents. These local projects will have a big impact on local people and will go a long way to improving the health and wellbeing of our communities.

A total of £240,589 has been awarded by us to support the following organisations and projects:

Volunteer It Yourself CIC, Dunstable South, £25,000

Improvements to a community building used to support disadvantaged, unemployed young people to develop new vocational skills.

Barton-le-Clay Parish Council, £19,500

Creating a new community garden, improving a sense of community, and supporting mental wellbeing and local biodiversity.

Friends of Warden Abbey Vineyard, Sandy, £6,000

New grounds maintenance equipment to help maintain a community area.

The Zoological Society of London at Whipsnade, Caddington, £25,000

A new sensory garden for Community Access Scheme beneficiaries and other visitors

Flitwick Scout Group, £11,000

Security fencing and replacement doors for safety, and installation of a disabled access ramp.

Leighton-Linslade Town Council, £40,000

Various improvements improving accessibility, security, and kitchen facilities for evening hirers at Pages Park Pavilion, Leighton Buzzard.

Dunstable Town Council, £40,000

To provide and install several pieces of inclusive play equipment in the Grove House Gardens Play Area.

BRCC, Dunstable Central, £10,000

Replacement of an old, inefficient oiled-fired heating system, with a modern and efficient air source heat pump

Potton Hall for All, £29,000

To purchase a heat pump, an exterior storage base and the material needed for an approach road.

Woburn Sands Bowls Club, £19,500

Solar panels to help lower the running costs of a well-used community facility.

Bellcote Meadow Millennium Green Trust, Shefford, £7,500

Providing a hard surface area for parking and access and improving accessibility to those with mobility issues (including wheelchair users) and people pushing prams/buggies.

Dunton Community Garden, Potton, £8,500

Improving security and accessibility for all and refurbish the kitchen to enable greater use by local community-based groups.