May 23 2013 Latest news:
Robin Cottle, Reporter
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Slade Green community groups are deciding how to spend a £1 million Lottery windfall.
The Big Lottery Fund cash was announced in February and was part of a £4.4 billion handout to groups nationwide to help revive struggling communities.
Slade Green was one of eight communities in London to receive cash in this round of funding.
The first ‘steering group’ meeting took place at the Howbury Centre on Slade Green Road on Wednesday night (16) to discuss how to spend the cash on projects in one of London’s most deprived areas.
Bexley Council and Bexley Voluntary Service joined forces to help bid for the money which will be distributed over a 10 year period.
Carol Britnell, of the voluntary service, said: “It’s very important that people in the area decide how the money will be spent because it will be local people who will benefit.
“The process can take up to eight months but Slade Green has a lot of active community groups so hopefully this will bring a swift conclusion to the consultations.”
As well as giving money to grassroots charities and community improvement projects, cash can also be given to small businesses who want to get started up as loans which will be paid back into the fund.
The voluntary service hopes this will improve the area while stimulating the local economy.
Miss Britnell said: “The area has problems with low income, high unemployment and deprivation.
“This isn’t just about the £1 million. Ideally the grant money will show that Slade Green is a vibrant area which just needs some investment which will hopefully see more cash injected into the area.”
Mel Hudson, who works for the charity Howbury Friends which has been actively involved in winning the funding, thinks the money is an opportunity for the community to improve itself.
She said: “It’s so hard to get funds in Bexley at the moment so this pot of money will be absolutely brilliant.
“Hopefully we will be able to help attainment levels in education to bring children out of poverty and reduce isolation in the elderly.”
Do you live in Slade Green? What would you like to see the money spent on? Contact the newsdesk on 020 8477 3835 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.