East Cambridgeshire organisations encouraged to bid for £700,000 fund

East Cambridgeshire District Council has released the second round of its Growth and Infrastructure Fund to support sustainable projects that improve the quality of life for residents.

Organisations, clubs or councils that want to deliver a project have until 5:00pm on Friday 8 December 2023 to place bids for a share of the £700,000 fund which can be spent on infrastructure that assists, promotes, encourages and develops sustainable growth.

This could include improvements to village halls, the expansion of sports facilities or enhancements to nature reserves or green spaces.

The money utilises funds the Council has received from Cambridgeshire Horizons. Cambridgeshire Horizons is a company that holds historical funds, originally received from central Government, to deliver projects that support growth in the county.

The previous round of funding was awarded to nine projects across the district, including Isleham Community Association which received over £15,000 towards the cost of a commercial kitchen at The Beeches.

Glenda Preece, who chairs Isleham Community Association, said: “Since it opened in 2013, The Beeches in Isleham has been a real hub of the local community. We host everything here from weddings to dance classes and Scout meetings.

“The installation of a new commercial kitchen has enabled us to offer in-house catering for large events. It now means we can run a daily café, a Saturday breakfast for the several hundred users of the recreational field, Sunday roast dinners, weddings and other events, which we previously had to outsource.

“In addition to providing a greatly enhanced service to the community, the new kitchen has also created additional employment opportunities in the form of bar, catering, waiting and cleaning staff.”

Councillor Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, was able to negotiate funds from Cambridgeshire Horizons to benefit East Cambridgeshire specifically. 

She said: “We know there are lots of fantastic ideas out there that with a little bit of funding can deliver some really good and sustainable benefits for our local residents. This fund is providing those organisations, clubs or parish councils with the opportunity to make that happen. We are really open-minded around how the money is spent, providing it’s for a capital project that supports the growth of the district and benefits local residents.”

Applicants will also be required to match fund a minimum of ten per cent of the total project costs and should commit to an environmentally friendly approach.

Anyone interested in applying can find out more here on the Growth and Infrastructure Fund pages on East Cambridgeshire District Council’s website.