West Berkshire Council has approved a total of £495,519 in grants for local infrastructure projects proposed by community groups for the benefit of their residents and businesses. The successful bids included the renovation of village halls, clubs, and scout halls, as well as improving sporting and playground facilities, to be implemented by 31 March 2022.
In a first for the Council, the grants, which range from £10k to £100k, will be paid from the Community Infrastructure Levy fund set aside by the Council in its 2021-22 budget. Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a levy charged on most new developments within an authority area. The money is used to pay for new infrastructure supporting the development of an area by funding the provision, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure. This includes: roads and other transport facilities, schools and other educational facilities, flood defences, medical facilities, open spaces, and sports and recreational areas. Each of the individual grants will contribute towards the total cost of the schemes. These grants are on top of the 15% (or 25% if there is a neighbourhood plan) community infrastructure levy that is already allocated to parish and town councils.
Councillor Ross Mackinnon, Executive Portfolio Holder for Finance and Economic Development, West Berkshire, commented:
“We are very keen to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place to support the district, particularly as we embark now on plans for our recovery post Covid. Aligned with this approach, we invited community groups to bid for projects at a local level given their insights into the needs of residents and businesses in their area.
“We congratulate the successful bidding groups for their excellent ideas for projects to enhance West Berkshire as a great place to live, work and learn. This community approach to infrastructure planning also fits in well with our communication and engagement strategy for involving local community groups in playing an active role in shaping the future of our district.”
The bidding process was open to community groups and other infrastructure providers and partners in West Berkshire as well as town and parish councils.
All of the successful bids are listed as follows:
- 1st Ufton Nervet Scout Group - The Spire community space - Ufton Nervet (£68,032)
- 1st Wash Common Scout Group - New scout hall (£100,000)
- Burghfield Parish Council - Burghfield village hall (£34,000)
- East Ilsley Parish Council - East Ilsley pond restoration (£14,122)
- Gladstone Memorial Trust - Kintbury village playground equipment enhancement (£12,081)
- Hermitage Village Hall CIO Trustees - Hermitage village hall completion (£28,571)
- Inkpen Memorial Playing Field Trust - Sports and community equipment storage building (£15,000)
- Newbury Cricket Club - Clubhouse re-development (£36,812)
- Newbury Town Council - Promoting “Active Travel” to Newbury town (£11,500)
- Pangbourne & District Tennis Club - Pangbourne Tennis Club - New surface for courts (£12,000)
- Purley-on-Thames Parish Council - Replacement of outdoor gym equipment and enhancement of adjoining play equipment (£16,955)
- SUN Village Hall Trustees – Hall redevelopment to ensure it has a future (£10,000)
- Tilehurst Parish Council - Provision of new multi-purpose community hub through refurbishment (£50,000)
- Trustees of Bradfield Village Hall - The preparation of documents, drawings, and technical design (RIBA Stage 4) to allow Trustees to tender for a new village hall, playground, multi-use games area and site improvements (£59,700)
- Victory Room Trustees - Victory Room refurbishment and extension (£15,045)
- West Ilsley Cricket Club & West Ilsley Recreation & Social Association - West Ilsley community cricket nets project (£11,700)