A council has awarded a £500,000 to 21 local community groups and projects.

The cash - made up from council underspend and cash reserves - was allocated last month and the teams at South Ribble Borough Council are now in the process of distributing the funds.

Community projects and groups were invited to bid for the funding through the innovative Leisure Local Community Fund and Boost Fund Plus schemes developed by the council to help local recovery from the pandemic.

Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, Councillor Paul Foster, said: "I am absolutely ecstatic that we have been able to open up £500,000 to aid local groups and projects.

"As a council, we use public money to fund our services and I'm delighted that through efficient spending and using our reserves, we are able to put public money where it's needed the most - in the hands of our communities.

"We saw so many local groups and projects come forward with incredible ideas and aspirations for the future, and it's at moments like this I am so, so proud to be from South Ribble.

"I cannot wait to see the funding put to use and see the real benefits of community funding for the borough."

The Leisure Local Community Fund was aimed at widening opportunities for people to get active, create more areas for community use, and help people to make healthy lifestyle choices while the Boost Fund Plus has been allocated to projects requested by community groups for the benefit of their local area.

Both schemes are a part of the council's drive to invest in local communities, develop and improve existing facilities and community spaces and to give more autonomy to residents about how and where we should be investing across the borough.

Cabinet member for communities, social justice and wealth building, Councillor Aniela Bylinski Gelder, said: "There is a real mix of projects and groups who have been successful in their bid for funding and I'm in no doubt that the 21 projects right across the borough will make an incredible difference to the local community.

"We're a council that invests in our communities, listens, and takes on board exactly what our residents tell us we need to look at, support or invest in, and it's a really proud moment to be able to announce the £500,000 investment.

"Our community groups are the beating heart of the borough and to see such commitment, drive and aspiration is amazing and I cannot wait to see them all get started with their newly-funded projects."

The 21 chosen recipients of the funds are:

  • 8th Penwortham St Teresa's Scout GroupScout Hut refurbishment - new roof and doors to scout hut at rear of St Teresa's church, improving both the aesthetic of the building and making it more secure after recent vandalism. Amount - £13,130
  • Penwortham Town CouncilHill Road cemetery - road resurfacing. Improvement works to the access/egress to the cemetery where the surface is breaking down. This will particularly benefit older visitors to the cemetery, and those with limited mobility. Amount - £30,000
  • Penwortham Town Council, Mental Health First Aid. Match funding to the £10,000 allocated by Penwortham Town Council to provide Mental Health First Aid accredited training courses to people that reside or work in Penwortham. Amount - £10,000
  • Penwortham Community Hub, Middleforth Community Garden. Creation of a community garden on currently disused land between Gaskell Road and Havelock Road, with local residents volunteering to support planting, bio-diversity and food growing.Amount - £15,000
  • Age Concern Central Lancs; Lostock Hall. Friendship and activities hall refurbishment. Installation of a new floor surface in the main hall and roof insulation for the conservatory roof, to enable increased and more varied use of the premises for community social activities for all ages.Amount - £19,500
  • Finleys Families CIC. Finleys first steps - provision of a programme designed for expectant parents to learn the basics of baby parenting. The course will cover basic baby care such as bathing, safe sleeping, and pre & postnatal parent support. Amount - £19,091
  • St Catherine's Hospice. Upgrading pathways at St Catherine's Hospice. Replacement of the paving around the main building at St Catherine's Hospice to tarmac; the current footpath is in a state beyond repair. Amount - £10,000
  • Churches Together. Furniture scheme. Funding to replace the van used for collecting and delivering furniture, thus enabling the continuation of the furniture service. Amount - £20,000
  • St Ambrose Halls for All. Warm halls for all. Replacement heating system for more efficient, environmentally friendly boilers, to make the venue warm and welcoming for all. Amount - £15,000
  • Key Unlocking Futures Base II community centre Match funding to support the creation of additional space at the Base Community Centre - utilising two vacant retail units along the same row as the existing facility. Amount - £34,545
  • Leyland Community Radio Radio Leyland - studio premises. Refurbishment of a formerly disused room at St Mary's Community Centre to make it suitable for use as a live radio studio, an audio production and editing area, and a training facility. Amount - £5,000
  • Leyland United Reformed Church. Community space. Match funding to create a new space for community use. Total project cost of £160,000, with over £140,000 raised by church. This grant will support running costs for consumables and heating. Amount - £19,000
  • Samlesbury Memorial Hall. Outdoor patio and field path. Creation of a new patio area adjacent to Samlesbury Memorial Hall, plus edged gravel path suitable for disabled access around adjacent field, with new gates installed for safety. Amount - £16,741
  • Walton-le-Dale Recreation Society. Woodland walk and sensory garden. Extension to the woodland path and incorporation of a sensory area, with a wild flower garden, wooden sculptures, insect and bird boxes and extra picnic tables and benches. Amount - £8,000
  • Longton VM. Modernisation programme. Funding to enable the next phase of venue development: extension to the dancefloor and creation of a covered patio and veranda upgrade, Amount - £48,842

Further details of the funding awards with spotlights on each successful recipient will be shared on the council's website as soon as they are available.