Council approves over £1.76 million funding for community projects


Four projects that improve the quality of life for residents in East Cambridgeshire have been awarded over £1.76 million funding.

Stretham and Wilburton Community Land Trust is to receive £1.21 million towards its Link Project.

This will see the creation of a wellbeing community hub, GP rooms, café and meeting rooms at Plantation Gate. The vibrant multi-use facility will support the local community, provide an area to offer complementary therapies and ensure GP services, which have not been available in the village for some time can be delivered.

Councillors agreed to allocate £700,000 from its Growth and Infrastructure Fund (GIF), which utilises money secured from Cambridgeshire Horizons, and £510,000 from its Community Infrastructure Levy.

During the Finance and Assets committee meeting on Thursday (25 January) councillors also agreed to allocate £423,107 GIF towards Witchford Parish Council’s plans to widen the existing path between Ely Road in Witchford and the A142 Lancaster Way Roundabout to create a cycleway.

The remaining £15,000 in the GIF funding pot has been allocated to Wilburton Parish Council towards the cost of a Multi Activity Games Area (MUGA) and tennis court on the recreation ground, subject to planning approval.

To receive the GIF funding applicants had to provide evidence the projects will support local growth, benefit the community and have support from local residents and stakeholders. They must also align with the council’s priorities and be sustainable, with a commitment to be carbon net zero. Each project also needed to secure 10 per cent match funding.

The committee also approved £125,000 from CIL funding to go towards a 3G artificial turf pitch at Soham Village College. This will be used by the college during term times and available for the local community to hire during evenings and weekends.

Soham Village College has to date secured £165,000 of the total project cost of £820,000 and now this partnership funding is in place, will apply to the Football Foundation for the remaining funding required. 

Cllr Alan Sharp, chair of the Finance and Assets Committee, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the calibre of the projects that met the criteria for these funds. The multiple benefits each of these projects will bring to their local communities will far, far outweigh what they have cost financially to deliver.

“Together they provide opportunities to enhance wellbeing, encourage residents to keep fit and enjoy the natural environment.”

The Growth and Infrastructure Fund utilises money the Council has secured from Cambridgeshire Horizons. Cambridgeshire Horizons is a company that holds historical funds, originally received from central Government, to deliver projects that support growth in the county.

The Growth and Infrastructure Fund is additional to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds that the Council collects from developers to deliver new infrastructure to support the growing district.  To date, over £10million of CIL funds have been spent on leisure centres, recreation fields, country parks, village halls, GP surgeries, car parks, youth centres, new roads and cultural facilities such as Viva Mill and Ely Museum.  Over £3.8m has also been passed to Parish, Town and City Councils.