The council holds funds from developers’ contributions for community benefits, known as S106 funding. Stogursey Parish council made several bids, including one for junior play equipment costing £2,911 and a further £2,329 for picnic tables and benches. This completes earlier work on the Burgage road play area, which now caters for visitors of all ages.
Cllr Allan Searle, chair of the parish council said: “I am so pleased with the outcome. We wanted a more inclusive park; we already had a youth shelter and challenging net climbing frame, but now the toddlers have their own springers and the parents have somewhere to sit too.”
In Carhampton, members of the Recreation Centre committee have been working on their grounds and seized an opportunity to offer a landscaped barbecue area. The bid for £2,248 enabled a brick barbecue to be built and a picnic table installed. Lucy Parker, Treasurer, said: “I am pleased to see families are already taking advantage of this new facility but we haven’t finished our work here yet. We have plans to make the area more accessible and so will continue to work with the local councils.”
These improvements are just a few of the many projects that have happened over the last year lead by parish councils and community groups across West Somerset. Last year the Council paid out more than £141,000 in S106 grants, a 70% increase over the previous year. Grants were made to both major projects, such as the Williton Pavilion, as well as several smaller grants in more rural communities.
Last year the council introduced a simpler grant application process for bids of £3,000 or less which has been well received by applicants.
Cllr Dave Westcott, lead member for Community and Customers, said: “I am really pleased to see so many local groups and councils have responded to this simpler process and are forging ahead with projects that benefit their communities. The funding comes from property developers and is managed by West Somerset Council. We are always pleased to see ideas come forward and the money being put to good use.”
Currently funds are available for community projects in Bicknoller, Carhampton, Crowcombe, Minehead, Nettlecombe, Stogursey, Watchet and Williton. Further information on the available funds and how to apply is available on the website or by calling the Housing and Community team on 01823 219438.
Attached is a photo of the new BBQ area in Carhampton.