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Funding approved for improvements to community centre and green spaces

A community centre and eight open spaces in South Staffordshire are set to receive a boost from Government funding.

South Staffordshire District

South Staffordshire Council has been allocated £3.82m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, to be invested locally by March 2025.

Improvements to green spaces are one of the areas the authority plans to spend money.

On Tuesday, cabinet members approved the allocation of the funding, which will be used to boost areas in Perton, Wombourne, Great Wyrley, Cheslyn Hay. Penkridge, Bilbrook, Kinver and Brewood.

A report to the cabinet said: “In September 2023, cabinet approved the allocation of UKSPF to several projects, some of which were more of an indicative allocation whilst specific proposals were being worked up. One of those indicative allocations was £125,000 allocated for the enhancement of open spaces.

“The council’s Street Scene team have submitted proposals to utilise this allocation. The total cost of the proposals is £183,763 and the full £125,000 has been requested; the remaining costs will be met from existing council budgets.”

Cabinet members also approved the allocation of £99,475 from the UKSPF towards improving the Edward Marsh Centre in Kinver. Work is set to include refurbishment of the changing rooms and disabled toilet.

The report said: “The report approved by members in September 2023 indicated that that there was circa £1.2m residual UKSPF funding unallocated and available for organisations to bid for to deliver projects in line with the council’s Investment Plan priorities and interventions. The first project to progress to a full application for the residual funding is for the Edward Marsh Centre, which provides well used sports pitches, recreational facilities and a community centre, in the village.

“The wider project is to protect the future of the building by replacing the roof, deal with some subsidence to the building and strengthen it for the roof replacement, upgrade outdated sports changing rooms into a modern accessible area suitable for teams and individuals to change and shower, and to increase the numbers of children participating in sport. The UKSPF application is for the underpinning, and upgrading the changing room facilities, including the addition of a disabled toilet – the completion of this part of the project will then help to unlock significant levels of lottery funding to complete the much-needed roof replacement.

“The total cost of the underpinning work and changing room improvements is approximately £142,000 and the centre is asking for £99,475, slightly under the maximum grant available. The remaining costs will be met by the centre and they have the funds already in place to meet that cost.

“The Edward Marsh Centre is heavily used by a wide number of local community and sports groups. It’s a volunteer led, not for profit charity and community centre, that has no external funding.

“All income is generated through user hire, community café, fundraising events, and successful grant applications. The centre will also shortly be receiving the King’s Award for Voluntary Service from the Lord Lieutenant for their outstanding community service.”

Planned projects at South Staffordshire green spaces and their costs:

  • Perton Lake: £36k for boardwalk improvements, creation of new Breedon paths

  • Wom Brook, Wombourne: £25.5k for improved and new interpretation boards, Giggetty section fencing, Poolhouse wood carving sculpture, contribution towards bridge improvements

  • Landywood, Great Wyrley: £15k for improvements to entrance and existing footpaths

  • Meadowbank Grange, Cheslyn Hay: £19k for improvements to existing footpaths, new lighting columns, gate and fencing

  • Swamp, Penkridge: £11.5k for improved interpretation boards and improvements to existing footpaths

  • Jubilee Wood, Bilbrook: £10k for improvements to existing footpaths

  • Brockleys Walk, Kinver: £5k for improved interpretation boards, new path to bridge, improvements to existing footpaths

  • Barnfield Sandbeds, Brewood: £3k for improved interpretation boards and fencing

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