COMMUNITIES across Bromsgrove are set to benefit from more than £50,000 of council investment, following the announcement that 18 of the 22 applicants to the New Homes Bonus scheme will receive funding.
In June, Bromsgrove District Council made £125,000 available to communities affected by new housing developments, and the payments were agreed at a Bromsgrove Council cabinet meeting on Wednesday, September 7.
Community groups in Alvechurch, Avoncroft, Barnt Green, Belbroughton, Catshill, Fairfield, Hagley, Hopwood, Rock Hill, Rubery, Stoke Parish, and Lickey and Blackwell made bids for their share of the cash, which were then considered by the council's New Homes Bonus Panel.
Nine applicants were awarded the full sum requested. These included a bid for £500 to install new benches in Catshill and one for £10,000 to buy a new minibus for Hagley Ramblers Scouts Group.
Members of Bromsgrove 6th Scouts Group in Catshill were thrilled to hear they would be receiving the full £4,500 to have their scout hut refurbished. They will now be able to rent out the space to other community groups.
Seven community groups were awarded partial funding, including Belbroughton Recreation Centre, which was granted £2,930 of its £3,499 bid to erect an outdoor basketball net and shooting pad.
West Hagley Football Club was awarded £5,948 of the £20,000 it requested to rebuild its outdated changing rooms.
Cofton Hackett Village Hall's request for £15,292 to refurbish its kitchen was one of four bids to be rejected by the cabinet, on the grounds that the application was "not robust enough".
A total of £45,000 of grants was approved by cabinet members, on top of £7,036 from the balance brought forward from 2015/16.
This leaves an unallocated balance of £72,328, which cabinet will recommend to full council be carried over to next year's funding.
Cabinet also accepted a request from Cllr Steve Colella, who represents Hagley West Ward, for the NHB panel to reconsider awarding more money to some of the partially-funded bids with the money left over.
Peter Rowbottom, of Hagley Residents Action Group, led a district-wide campaign in 2014, calling for Bromsgrove District Council to pass on New Homes Bonus money to local communities.
After attending Wednesday's meeting, he said: "I would like to congratulate all the community groups who have made successful bids for New Homes Bonus money and look forward to communities across the district benefiting from improved facilities.
He added: "This is now the second successive year that NHB money has been made available by the Council to local communities and I look forward to such payments continuing in the future."