The milestone was celebrated at a special ceremony held at the new HQ of the 14th Andover (Stockbridge District) Scouts. In April 2010, the Trust awarded a grant of £50,000 towards the scheme to build the new hall, which brought the Trust’s total awards past the 10 million pound milestone in the south alone.
The Trust was established in 1997 to award grants through the Landfill Communities Fund using Landfill Tax Credits provided by Veolia Environmental Services (UK) plc. The £10m has been awarded to community and environmental projects of varying size and scope, including ones laying new footpaths, installing play areas, restoring habitats and improving community halls, benefiting thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.
The new Scout hall replaced a dilapidated, damp wooden one and the flexible, warm, welcoming ‘green’ building will serve the group and the wider community for years to come. It is expected that it will be opened early next year (2012).
The Trust’s Southern region stretches from Kent to Cornwall and Hampshire to Gloucestershire, and the area includes hundreds of rural and urban communities. In order to be in the running for a grant, schemes need to be within five miles of a qualifying Veolia facility. They also need to come under one of the Trust’s five categories and meet their connected criteria.
As well as Stockbridge’s new Scout hall, other projects supported by the Trust in its Southern region include:
• Portsmouth – a grant of £25,000 that helped create the Fareham Easy Access Trail, a refurbished stretch of rural footpath, running alongside the coast, which is accessible to wheelchair users.
• Southampton – a grant of £50,000 was used towards building a new parish hall for St John’s Church, Marchwood, replacing the old one.
• Eastbourne – a Trust grant for £4,700 helped finance the installation of double-glazed windows and insulation in the town’s Community Wise centre.
• Basingstoke – A grant of £25,000 was used to fund the installation of play equipment for older children in the village of Chineham.
• Brighton – The Trust awarded £40,000 to a project that installed a new play area in Hollingbury.
Speaking about the 306 projects that have been funded, Gavin Graveson, Chair of the Trust’s Southern Regional Panel, says, “It’s great that we’ve been able to support such a wide range of projects across the south over the past 14 years. The award here in Stockbridge not only provides this community with a modern, sustainable building, but represents a ten million pound milestone for The Veolia Environmental Trust.”