Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Councils have approved over £420k worth of funding bids from community infrastructure projects in their districts, from leisure centre upgrades to electric vehicle charging.
The funds – including £341,987 in Babergh and £78,938.50 in Mid Suffolk – were collected from property developers under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to invest in projects that benefit the communities in the districts.
Community projects applied for funding under the councils’ CIL Expenditure Frameworks. The successful bids in Mid Suffolk will see investment in a new Band Hall in Gislingham, new bus shelters in Thurston, an electric vehicle charging station in Eye’s Cross Street Car Park and a new Parish noticeboard in Stowupland.
In Babergh, funds will be spent on new seating for community and school use at East Bergholt High School, new kitchen and toilet facilities at Preston St Mary Village Hall, provision of a community hub at 2 Lady Street in Lavenham, an electric vehicle charging point at the public car park behind the Cock Horse Inn in Lavenham and on the restoration of brick arch culvert works in Cockfield.
In addition, £100,000 of the total in Babergh will be spent on the redevelopment and refurbishment of the Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury, provided via the council’s Strategic Infrastructure Fund.
Following the £232,197.33 allocated to community projects from developer contributions last autumn, this brings the total funding in the 2018/19 year to £653,123.82. This includes £417,205.48 raised and spent in Babergh and £235,918.34 raised and spent in Mid Suffolk.
The decisions on this round of funding were made by Babergh’s Cabinet meeting on 7 March and Mid Suffolk Cabinet meeting on 4 March.
Cllr Nick Ridley, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “By collecting these funds from developers, we’re ensuring they pay their fair share to support our communities. These projects show that growth can be about more than just new housing and can deliver changes and improvements in many other ways as well.”
Cllr Glen Horn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “These decisions show that CIL funding is not a one off, but will be a long-term funding source for community infrastructure in Mid Suffolk. By funding these projects from developer contributions we’re ensuring that growth in our district can benefit everyone and will continue to do so for many years to come.”
Cllr Diana Kearsley, Mid Suffolk District Councillor for Gislingham, said: “The Gislingham Silver Band has been a feature in the village for over 130 years, providing brass band music around the villages in Mid Suffolk. The Gislingham Silver Band has increased in adult membership and now has two junior bands - children are being given the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, perform and enjoy being part of Suffolk’s longest established village brass band. Music, as we know is so important and contributes to the health and wellbeing of those who both play an instrument and listen. This CIL 123 funding will provide a new, modern ‘band hall’, replacing their 1959 current band hut and will also be available for much needed additional community facilities in the village.”
Cllr Derrick Haley, Mid Suffolk District Councillor for Thurston and Hessett, said: “I am delighted that at last Thurston has been awarded £13,000 from the Community Infrastructure Levy. It has come at a time when major developments are due to start so any improvements are to be welcomed by the village.”
Cllr Keith Welham, Mid Suffolk District Councillor for Stowupland, said: “This is our third successful bid, following the grants towards improvements to the Sports and Social Club and Village Hall. The first 50 or so of nearly 400 new houses have been completed. When all have been built, Stowupland’s population will have grown by around 40%. It is vital that infrastructure and facilities are provided which will help our new residents feel part of the community. A new noticeboard on the Trinity Meadows development will be useful in keeping everyone moving into the new homes better informed of village facilities and events.”
Cllr John Hinton, Babergh District Councillor for Dodnash including East Bergholt, said: “The award of funds from the CIL fund to East Bergholt High School for retractable seating is a welcome addition to the educational and social facilities in the village and surrounding area. I hope that it will be well used and will be just the start of investment in improving infrastructure and facilities across the rural area.”
Cllr Clive Arthey, Babergh District Councillor for North Cosford including Preston St Mary and Cockfield, said: “I’m really pleased for Cockfield and Preston St. Mary. Together with Lavenham’s award, and the previous funding for Cockfield, this will make a huge difference to the facilities available to communities in this part of the district.”
Cllr William Shropshire, Babergh District Councillor for Lavenham, said: “I am delighted that Lavenham has been successful in the latest round of CIL applications. The community hub is a fantastic parish wide project that ensure the continuation of vital services and aspects of village life for our residents. Funding to help this venture, via the CIL levies, injects money directly to where it should go, that is straight into the heart of the community. The green minded electric car point in Lavenham which also received CIL funding proves that this wonderful historic village is also forward thinking and proactive in its desire to mix tourism, leisure and the environment to the benefit of the area. Both applications here in Lavenham have shown that clear, sensible and well thought plans can ensure that the new builds have a positive effect on communities and that the money generated from new developments is being put to good use.”