Community groups in Preston are celebrating a cash boost following the creation of a new fund.
The city council has set up a Community Innovation Fund, aimed at specific projects to improve neighbourhoods.
Four groups have been successful in receiving cash in the first round of funding, designed to support “people, neighbourhoods and communities at a grass roots level”.
The Friends of Highgate Wood is to receive £2,022 to improve the wood in Fulwood; Lancashire Forum of Faiths will be given £2,000 towards a film on the multi-faith nature of Preston; Emmaus Preston is in line for £1,331 for a cycle recycling project within Fishwick and St Matthew’s, and Eagles Wings will receive £962.95 towards helping women rebuild their lives from domestic abuse.
Coun Martyn Rawlinson, cabinet member for resources, said he was “delighted” the council could fund the projects, and said more successful schemes would be announced early next year.
He said: “The fund is for new projects or new aspects to existing projects that are designed to increase community activity and also to involve the ward councillors in helping community groups develop.”
Stephen Buchanan, director of Emmaus Preston described the funding as a “lifeline”.
He said: “Through this innovative cycle recycling project, we can provide training and support to our clients and also bring old bicycles back in to use.”
Peter Bullman from Friends of Highgate Wood said the group was “thrilled”, while Lynne Mwale from Eagles Wings said the funding was “invaluable”, and “life changing” for the charity and the women it supports.
Andrew Pratt, a multi-faith worker within the Blackburn Diocese, added: “This is a project specifically for the Riversway area.
“Here, there are many people from many different faiths including Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist who all live in the area.”
“It’s about celebrating this as well as understanding more about each other and what it means to live in a modern, multi-faith community in Preston in the 21st century.”