St Helens groups to bid for £110k cash injection

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Community groups are being encouraged to bid for their share of a £110,000 cash pot.

The money is for grabs to organisations in the borough who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use, and prevent carbon emissions.

The money is coming from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2016/17, which has been running annually since 2006.

The impact of the 2014/15 Fund saw 160 full time equivalent jobs created or safeguarded, participation by 322 volunteers, 743 tonnes of waste material diverted from landfill and £74,300 of equivalent landfill costs avoided.

Previous Community Fund projects have included:

Providing 481 free packs of re-used furniture to vulnerable individuals or families in critical need;

Holding workshops across the region to help improve peoples’ skills to repair and re-use/upcycle and sell unwanted furniture and textiles;

Using second-hand materials to help transform a disused school hall in Birkenhead into a new community venue for vulnerable women;

Converting three vacant Housing Association units into community shops to sell items for re-use;

Development of a Recycling Superstore in Seaforth which has provided local homeless people with housing, employment and training opportunities;

Setting up 20 ‘Mersey Waste Munchers’ cookery clubs with schools for children and their families to help improve health, reduce food waste and save money.

Coun Graham Morgan, chairman of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), said: “We’ve made this money available for new and existing projects which can have an impact on their local community and make Merseyside a cleaner and greener place for us all to live and work.

“Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment can only bring benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which otherwise might be just thrown away.

“I’d encourage local groups and organisations to put in applications – the process is quite simple and obviously worth the effort if successful.”

Interested groups should complete and submit an Expression of Interest with MRWA. If applicants are shortlisted then they will be asked to fill in a more detailed Community Fund entry.

Successful applicants can be awarded up to £25,000 for schemes which operate across Merseyside and Halton, and £8,000 for projects which work solely at local authority level.

Projects will have nine months to deliver their schemes and will be expected to launch in June.