Community projects set to come to life with £400,000 worth of grants


08 Jul 2024

Community projects set to come to life with £400,000 worth of grants

We are excited to share the news that eleven organisations in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire will have their community projects brought to life thanks to funding from the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Improvements legacy fund.  

We launched our £2 million legacy fund late last year with the aim of leaving a lasting positive impact in the local community that transcends asphalt, steel and concrete.  

A sensory garden
A sensory garden will be built at Potton Primary School

Making a change in the community 

During our first application window held over the winter, we received over 80 applications to two funds that make up our legacy fund - the Social Value Fund and Community Fund. 

Successful initiatives from our Social Value Fund were: 

  • Potton Primary School: Creation of a sensory garden for children to enjoy outdoor activities in an accessible space. 
  • Eaton Socon Cricket Club: Upgrading facilities to be more inclusive for all community members. 
  • St Neots Museum: Development of two immersive digital experiences showcasing historic archaeological finds. 
  • VegFest Schools Growing Programme: Establishing food-growing spaces in eight primary schools in St Neots. 
  • Bedfordshire Great Ouse Valley Environmental Trust: Purchasing equipment for real-time river pollution monitoring. 
  • Roxton Village Hall & Gamlingay and Gransden Scout Group: Installing solar panels to enhance sustainability. 

Lee Galloway, Project Director for National Highways, commented, "We’re delighted to support these fantastic projects, which will bring tangible benefits to local communities in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire." 

Group of sports people in a huddle
Facilities at Eaton Socon Cricket Club are to be upgraded

Voices from the community 

Rebecca Beattie, Secretary of the Parent, Teacher, and Friends Association at Potton Primary School, said:

“The sensory garden will enhance our science curriculum and create memorable experiences for everyone at the school.”  

Kelly Garner, Engagement Officer at St Neots Museum, added:

“The introduction of digital media will make our displays more engaging and accessible, creating an inclusive environment for all visitors.”  

The Community Fund is also backing several other initiatives, including: 

  • CHUMS Charity: Providing therapeutic programs for 48 children and young people in Bedfordshire. 
  • The Croydon Reading Room: Installing a hearing loop in Royston. 
  • The Wildlife Trust for Beds, Cambs, and Northants: Hosting hands-on nature conservation events for 400 participants. 
  • Overloaded: Developing new facilities at Overload Farm in Bedford for 60 young people with anxiety or school attendance issues. 

Call for new applications 

Do you have an initiative that could benefit from our legacy funds?  

We’re currently accepting applications to both our Social Value Fund and Community Fund. All non-for-profit groups or organisations in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire can apply, including but not limited to local schools, charities, community groups, and environment groups. 

Grants for the Social Value Fund are from £15,000 to £200,000, with the deadline to submit an expression of interest on Monday 15 July.

For smaller scale projects, the Community Fund offers grants of up to £15,000, with the deadline for applications on Thursday 1 August.   

For details on funding criteria and how to apply, visit our Social Value Fund and Community Fund page.