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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Community groups £9million better off thanks to fund

A £9 million milestone has been reached by Copeland Community Fund.

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grants galore: At the celebrations were, from left, Brian Hough, Paul Rowe, Tim Knowles and Heather Askew

By Julie Morgan

Over the past four years, grants have been handed out to 120 local organisations running 158 different projects.

Around 40 people attended an event, held at Copeland Sports Stadium, which marked this funding achievement. A £60,000 grant was also given to Phoenix Youth Project at the Whitehaven event, which resulted in the fund surpassing its milestone.

Representatives from Copeland School Sports Partnership, Phoenix Enterprise Centre, Age Concern and Millom Network Centre also attended to talk about the impact the fund had on their activities.

Tim Knowles, chairman of Copeland Community Fund, said: “Everyone connected with the fund is extremely proud we have reached this significant milestone. Then to hear independently that the fund is held in such high regard, is very efficient and making a real difference across Copeland is really pleasing.

“Much of the work of the fund goes unnoticed as it works with small community groups, giving advice on how to raise funds and making grants direct.

“Those grants on an individual basis may not seem a lot but to the groups they are invaluable and help them draw in other funding.

“So whilst we have invested around £9 million the fund has actually levered in an additional £20 million direct into the community.

“It is also important to say a massive thank you to the team who manage the fund. The evaluation has shown they do a great job in ensuring the funds we have available make a real difference.”

Paul Stewart, from the Millom Network Centre, said their grant had enabled them to be a hub for community groups, while Paul Rowe, of the Phoenix Youth Project, talked about how the funding had allowed the organisation to work with 700 young people every year.

The community fund was established to recognise the unique role that Copeland plays in hosting the national Low Level Waste Repository close to the village of Drigg.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) pay £1.5 million per year into the fund for every year that the current operational vault receives waste: in addition to an initial endowment of £10 million.

A board of directors representing Copeland Borough Council, Cumbria County Council, the NDA and two independent members manage the fund.

www.copelandcommunityfund.co.uk

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