£1.7MILLION has been awarded to more than 50 community projects in Lancashire.

Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, is distributing the large sum to 57 community projects in the region. 

Key towns and cities in the region will be amongst those seeing the funding, including Blackburn, Hyndburn and Preston. 

Nearly £500,000 of the grant will be given to Lancashire BME Networks Ltd, based in Accrington, for its Support 360 project.

This new project will deliver information, advice and guidance service to people from the black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee (BAMER) community living in East Lancashire.  

Home-Start Pendle and Ribble Valley will receive £469,005 for for their East Lancashire Home-Start plus scheme, which is conducted in collaboration with neighbouring Home-Start Rossendale, Burnley and Hyndburn.

The project will recruit, train and supervise volunteers with parenting experience to support other parents in their own homes. These volunteers will be matched with families referred to the service by professionals and agencies working with school aged children as well as self-referrals.
Scheme manager Kishwar Mahmood said the company was ‘over the moon’ following the successful bid.

She said: “We appreciate the support from Big Lottery Fund for the voluntary sector and without the support we would struggle. It helps us to do this type of work in the community.”

Trinity URC Methodist Church, in James Street, Great Harwood will receive £200,000 for its refurbishment project. The existing church and community building will be replaced with a multipurpose facility and new space to enable the development of existing community activities and the creation of new ones.

A new lift will be put in to access the worship area on the first floor, a new staircase will be built and improved flooring laid down. Reverend Geoffrey Hays said he was ‘very pleased’ because the Church had been wanting this grant for some time.

He said: “We want to improve facilities to make it more useable for the people of Great Harwood.”

Other organisations to receive funding include Clitheroe Cricket Club, Haslingden Community Link, Lancashire Amateur Sports Club and Gawthorpe Textiles Collection.