Two out of five bids being presented to Wednesday’s (November 1) Cabinet meeting for awards from the Hinkley Community Impact Mitigation (CIM) fund are being recommended for approval to Full Council by councillors in West Somerset.
Some applications not being recommended for approval were considered to have merits. However, it was felt more work was needed to meet the criteria necessary for a successful bid.
One of the bids recommended for approval is for Holford Village Hall’s Fit for the Future project. The village hall committee is looking for £125,000 from the CIM fund towards the overall £517,000 costs of the initiative.
A similar application from the village hall group was previously considered by the Planning Obligations Board that looks at all bids for CIM funding. The applicants were then offered advice, including seeking match-funding to support the project, before resubmitting the bid.
That advice was taken on board and Holford and District Village Hall Committee worked with Jan Ross, of Engage West Somerset, on the latest application. The Hall Committee has reached stage 3 of the Big Lottery Reaching Communities application process and hopes that this will secure significant match-funding.
As a result, the application recommended for approval is now judged to meet all the key criteria for funding and is described as “well presented, detailed and thought out.”
Jan Ross said: “The Village Hall Committee has been a joy to work with as they are all passionate about this project and hugely involved in organising many different events and activities to meet the needs of the local community.
“They are also determined to make all the new people and families who move into the area through their work at Hinkley Point C feel welcome and be encouraged to join in with activities organised at the village hall.
“Funding would allow the committee to transform this rather dilapidated hall into a special place fit or the future with much improved energy efficiency, a new small meeting room and welcoming foyer.”
Jan’s role with Engage is to support any voluntary groups with anything they might need from setting up from scratch, governance matters to policies and funding. She can be contacted here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Mandy Chilcott, Deputy Leader of West Somerset Council: “We have already seen some really great community projects funded through the CIM Fund which will help mitigate the impacts of the construction of Hinkley Point C.
“These projects and facilities will help our area during the build and leave a lasting legacy for many years to come. As EDF Energy’s on-site activity increases, it is important that communities know that the CIM Fund is available to help address the impacts of the project. Our teams are ready and waiting to help, advise and guide people and we look forward to receiving applications which build on the good work done so far.
“We welcome any group with an idea for a project to come forward and details can be found by visiting www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/CIM
to review the CIM Fund’s criteria, obtain contact details and discuss submitting an expression of interest. Staff at both West Somerset Council and Sedgemoor District Council are available to work with groups to support them through the application process and advise on eligibility.”