Social Infrastructure Fund fast-track awards announced

17 November 2022

Norfolk County Council has announced that five organisations who applied for funding from the Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund have had their applications fast-tracked to increase support to local communities this winter.

Recognising the pressures facing people across the County this Winter, NCC was keen to see if some projects were able to bring forward their plans to increase the ability of community groups to carry out their vital work. Shortlisted projects that had applied for funding of under £50,000 were approached to see if they could be accelerated, with a new completion date of 31 January 2023. Five projects have been successful in their applications.

Cllr Andrew Proctor, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “The objective of the Social Infrastructure Fund is to fund projects that will make a real difference in Norfolk’s communities and the work done by the many community groups is incredibly valuable. People will be facing challenges this winter and, alongside the support already on offer from the County Council, it was important for us to be able to fast-track projects which will be able to make a big difference to local residents.”

One project which has been fast-tracked is the refurbishment and environmental improvements to Sheringham Little Theatre’s community café. This work will enable the continuation and expansion of a space which the community can use for various activities, including as a warm hub. They have received funding of £39,500.

Debbie Thompson, Theatre Director from Sheringham Little Theatre, said: “This is fantastic news and has made the project possible and we are very grateful. We look forward to building on the role of our café as a community hub and to offering an even warmer welcome to both new and existing visitors”.

The conservation, renovation, and modernisation of Hanworth with Gunton Memorial Hall has also been fast tracked to enable a larger space to be made available to provide food, warmth, and company for the local and wider community. This project has received £20,000 of funding.

Tony Hadlow, project manager from Hanworth with Gunton Memorial Hall, said: “This is just fabulous news, not just for our organisation but for the people of our village and the communities around it. By bringing the hall back into full use we can bring the community together and reduce the impact of the cost-of-living crisis this winter.”

The other three projects which have received funding are:

  • The renovation of The NR5 Project’s Community Café to provide a warm and welcoming space for local people to access community meals and specialist support services will get £18,073.04
  • The One-to-One Project in King’s Lynn is to be renovated to provide more accessible services to its users and will receive £4,000
  • A project to install solar panels and a battery system at the Wellspring Family Centre in Dereham, which will keep running costs down and mean they will be able to expand the use of their kitchen to run a community meals project, will get £17,300

Other shortlisted applicants, including organisations who were unable to bring their projects forward, will have a decision made about their funding in January.

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