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Matthew Hancock
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Estate improvements funded by new panel

Wednesday, 2nd May 2012.

Over 70 projects in St Edmundsbury have been supported to the tune of £300,000 in the first year of Havebury Housing Partnership’s Neighbourhood Investment Panel – and more worthy causes are set to benefit in its second.

The panel, made up of tenants and independent representatives, was formed last April through a combination of the former Community Investment Fund and the Havebury Improving Places Group.

Estate improvements have since benefited from £250,000, with £50,000 invested in community initiatives.

Panel vice-chairman Sandy Norris explained that projects have included installing a new footpath at Chimswell Way in Haverhill to ensure safe access to bus stops, as well as parking measures at Cambridge Close in the town.

She added: “It’s been an excellent first year for the panel – we’ve had some really good feedback from our tenants who say the grants have made a very positive difference to their lives.

“We’re now looking forward to helping more groups and improving more of our estates in our second year. We have a budget of at least £200,000 and would welcome any grant applications from tenants.”

One of the projects to have been supported by the Neighbourhood Investment Panel is a fun children’s event being held by football club Sporting 87 at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds. Open to girls and boys from across St Edmundsbury, the project was awarded just under £500.

Club Secretary Jonathan Warnock explained that the free Junior Youth World Cup Tournament, which is taking place on July 4, aims to attract individual children, groups of friends and non-footballing youth groups who are currently in school years two to five.

Havebury chief executive Karen Mayhew praised the members of the Neighbourhood Investment Panel for their hard work over the last year.

She added: “Havebury is committed to improving our communities and supporting those local groups that are integral to the lives of our tenants. The Neighbourhood Investment Panel is an ideal way for us to do this.”

She added: “We currently have two vacancies for tenants on the panel. They will need to attend at least four meetings a year and we’ll provide training and pay expenses such as child care and travel.”

If you are interested in joining the Neighbourhood Investment Panel or would like to discuss a possible project, contact Stronger Communities Adviser Charlotte Carter on 01284 722035 for an informal chat.

Haverhill Online News

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