£750,000 cash up for grabs for projects to benefit Boston

Boston Big Local has a pot of cash to hand out
Boston Big Local has a pot of cash to hand out

Residents in Boston who have ideas for projects or schemes they believe will benefit the town can apply for a share of a £750,000 pot of lottery cash.

Boston Big Local (BBL) is offering funds for worthwhile schemes, including new ideas and ongoing projects which would benefit from a cash injection.

The organisation received £1 million from the National Lottery four years ago and still has £750,000 left, which must be allocated within the next six years.

The money was given to be spent by the people of Boston for the benefit of Boston over a ten-year period.

Now BBL wants to get the message out to anyone who feels they may have a worthwhile scheme – don’t be put off from asking.

And the organisation has assured potential applicants that the process is simple and they will do all they can to help you.

There are two funds - the community chest, which can issues grants up to £1,500, and the events fund for supporting bigger bids.

But group chairman Richard Tory, said: "We don't want people to be put off from claiming from either fund. And if we think an application has been made to the wrong fund, or that something is simply a good idea and has potential for a bigger grant we will do our best to accommodate it.

“An application to the community chest takes just five minutes to complete. Please have a go - if you don't ask, you don't get. We want to give this money away and it all has to be spent by the end of the ten-year period which is now six years away."

The smallest grant made so far was for just £96 and the biggest £19,000 for outdoor play equipment.

Coun Tory said: "You can be an individual, a new or established community group or a charity. If you are not sure whether your project will qualify, have a go anyway. You've nothing to lose and everything to gain."

Any bid money allocated must be for the benefit of residents living in the designated BBL area - although a claim could be made by an individual, community group or charity from outside that area.

Bids must also fit in one of four criteria - health and wellbeing, a more attractive environment, greater community spirit or encouraging enterprise.

BBL pump-primed Boston Marathon (UK) and helped Algarkirk's Jerry Green dog rescue centre with a fundraising event held in Boston. It has helped with funding for a lift at Blackfriars Theatre and Arts Centre to enable disabled performers and visitors to access all areas. It helps the Memory Lane arts project for people with dementia and, since the first, has funded the annual Boston Beach Days in Central Park.

This year, acting on feedback received, it also funded an additional three special events at the summer beach specifically aimed at people with dementia, those with additional support needs and for the over-60s.

BBL, together with Local Hope, funded a special swing in Central Park which accommodates someone in a wheelchair.

And BBL has awarded two £19,000 grants for extra play equipment and facilities in Central Park and Woodville Road play areas.

More information can be found at the BBL website - www.bostonbiglocal.co.uk - together with application form. For more information or advice email info@bostonbiglocal.co.uk or write to Boston Big Local, c/o Age UK Lincoln and South Lincolnshire, Chantry House,Lincoln Lane, Boston PE21 8RU.