Ex-coalfield communities in £500k boost

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Community groups in former mining areas can benefit from a share of a £500,000 programme launched by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

The Coalfields Community Investment Programme is offering local organisations the chance to apply for up to £10,000 to improve the employment opportunities, skills and health and wellbeing of those living in coalfield communities.

The first grants will be decided in April.

One local group that has already received help from the trust is Jesters Gymnastic Club in Featherstone, which received £4,000 from the Coalfields Community Grants programme last year.

The money was used to buy a freestanding rig that allows advanced gymnasts to compete to the necessary standards, while helping other members develop new techniques and confidence to progress to higher levels.

Jesters helps children aged five and upwards to get involved in gymnastics, learn a new skill and make new friends in a safe environment.

Andy Lock, head of operations (England) for the trust, said: “We know that coalfield communities need further resources in order to support community groups and initiatives that have an impact locally. The Coalfields Community Investment Programme can support these organisations and give them the assistance they need to continue to deliver the essential services they offer.”

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust was set up in 1999 and is dedicated to supporting former mining communities and helping them to help themselves.

Since then, the scheme has helped more than two million people. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate how the investments will have an impact on former mining areas.

Visit www.coalfields-regen.co.uk for more information.