Community scheme has granted £1.2 million to 118 projects over 10 years

Last Updated: 23 January 2023

Support for important grassroots projects has been agreed as a South Lakeland District Council grant funding project comes to an end after 10 years.

Cabinet approval means £1.2 million has been given to 118 projects since 2013 through the Locally Important Projects (LIPs) scheme.

The final grants approved were:

  • £8,000 for the upgrade of Milnthorpe public conveniences;
  • £2,600 for Grange public conveniences;
  • An additional £3,900 (supplementing their original successful  £20,000 LIPs bid) for Hawkshead Parish Council to complete its Town Squares project, which aims to reduce and slow traffic, and upgrade works to the infrastructure of the squares to  promote cycling and walking;
  • £15,000 to Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) to supplement their Community Climate Grants Fund;
  • £12,000 to Kendal Civic Society for an enhancement project in Nobles Rest Park.

The LIPs money was allocated through the New Homes Bonus, where the Government matches the council tax raised for new homes and properties brought back into use, with extra funds given for each affordable home built.

SLDC decided to use the New Homes Bonus funds to address the needs of local communities.

Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Assets, said: "Many councils absorbed the New Homes Bonus into their own budgets but South Lakeland always believed that it should be used to help community projects.

"Since 2013 more than 100 groups and organisations have been supported in making their communities better places with LIPs grants totalling more than £1.2 million.  This shows how a commitment to localism and partnership working can be incredibly powerful and effective.

"These final grants bring that legacy to a fitting end.  We can all take pride in the continuing benefits that the projects agreed over the last 10 years are providing in every corner of the district."

Applications to LIPs were intended to support SLDC’s Council Plan priorities on environment, housing, supporting the local economy or health and wellbeing.

LIPs funding has been used to support the delivery of social facilities, improvements to paths, walkways and the local environment by empowering communities to deliver on things that matter locally.

Organisations that have benefitted from LIPs funding include parish and town councils and community organisations.

The first round of LIPs awards were approved in September 2013 and this is the eighth and final round.

Projects in every corner of the district as diverse as installing a drainage scheme at a local football club pitch to funding a new footpath near a school, community hall renovations, playground improvements and paying for studies to look at ways to alleviate a village’s traffic congestion issues were supported.