New Communities Together Fund will now be put in place to support projects

More than £100,000 has been given to 34 community projects by Devon County Council and East Devon District Council through their Parishes Together Fund 2017/2018.

The two council’s worked together, for the sixth year running, to put £1.10 per elector into the fund - £1 from Devon County Council and 10p from East Devon District Council.

The fund, managed by East Devon District Council, was designed to provide financial solutions to local issues. Town and parish councils could work together to apply for a grant for their own projects, or they could apply on behalf of community projects from other organisations.

In total, over the six years the fund ran, the two councils have granted over £600,000 to a wide variety of community projects. The Parishes Together Fund is now closed to applications and won’t be running again. The two councils are working on providing similar amounts of funding through their new Communities Together Fund, which will work in a different way and the details are currently being worked on.

Examples of some of the successful town and parish council projects from April 2017 to March 2018 are:

  • £8,364 to Ottery St Mary, West Hill and Aylesbeare towards providing mental health support for young people.
  • £2,500 towards Christmas lights in Axminster, a project from Axminster Town Council and All Saints and Chardstock Parish Councils.
  • £7,482 towards providing a number of community heli-pads accessible to Axminster, All Saints, Chardstock, Kilmington, Plymtree, Talaton, Broadhembury and Payhembury so the Devon Air Ambulance can land in the dark.
  • Over £10,000 towards community defibrillators that the general public can access and use in Newton Poppleford, East Budleigh with Bicton, Woodbury, Bishops Clyst, Gittisham, Dunkeswell and Combpyne Rousdon.
  • £30,200 to Exmouth Town Council to pay for the re-design and printing of leaflets and information boards for the Exe Estuary.
  • £3,500 towards Seaton and Axmouth getting and installing new brown tourism signs to attract visitors into the area.
  • £7,155 to Sidmouth Town Council to pay for the Sid Valley Help Scheme to help them support residents of the Sid Valley in their times of need.
  • Clyst Caring Friends will receive nearly £5,000 to help them decrease loneliness in the area thanks to Broadclyst, Clyst Honiton, Farringdon and Whimple.
  • Stoke Canon and Rewe have received £1,300 to help them improve a footpath connecting the two villages.
  • £340 for Colyton and Northleigh to put in some cycle racks so residents can park their bikes safely when out and about.
  • Nearly £20,000 will go to ditching and drainage projects in 17 towns and parishes.

Councillor Phil Twiss, East Devon District Councillor and Chairman of the Fund said:

I have been very proud to be involved in the Parishes Together Fund as we’ve helped East Devon’s town and parish councils to fund very worthy community projects that otherwise may well not have happened.

Councillor John Hart, the Leader of Devon County Council, said:

It’s funding that is making a real difference to residents’ lives.  By changing the name of the fund to Communities Together, we’re also inviting community groups as well as our parish and town council partners to apply for funding. 

The money is to encourage communities to work together to identify new ideas for their mutual benefit.  It is money to kick start projects, available to help get good ideas off the ground.  We’d like to hear from communities about projects that enhance and make a difference to communities.