Develop Warwickshire launches community fund

A year after it was formed, a joint venture has launched a new community fund to support projects in North Warwickshire and Nuneaton.

Develop Warwickshire has opened its new £50,000 community fund and it has now supported its inaugural project in Warton.

The annual grant fund is comprised of £25,000 in cash and £25,000 work in kind from the joint venture partners. It will support a range of projects in the area, the first being the installation five new park benches at Warton Recreation Ground.

Develop Warwickshire was formed in December 2022 and is a joint venture between Countryside Partnerships, Warwickshire Property and Development Group (WPDG) and Warwickshire County Council.

The fund has also made a £1,000 donation to support the 2024 Warton Carnival as the joint venture continues its commitment to support the community in the village.

The benches have been funded through a combination of grant funding from Warwickshire County Council and community fundraising, with the top five donors recognised in commemorative plaques.

Develop Warwickshire’s Community Fund has funded the installation of the five large benches.

Julie Holden, on behalf of the Warton Picnic Bench Group, said: “We have needed an upgrade of benches in the park for a couple of years, and the support from Develop Warwickshire is the final piece of the puzzle to enable this to happen.

“The work to install the benches is very valuable for a small community like Warton. We would also like to thank Develop Warwickshire for the generous donation which will support our forthcoming carnival in June next year.”

Develop Warwickshire is developing 71 new homes in Warton, including 40 per cent affordable housing.

Brookmill Meadows is the first development from the joint venture and the first homes are expected to be completed in early 2024.

The on-site team have been working with schools in the area for educational visits to the site, providing an insight into health and safety, the benefits of apprenticeships and career opportunities in construction.

Organisations and community groups from across North Warwickshire and Nuneaton will be able to apply for grants from the Develop Warwickshire Community Fund.

Stuart Buckley, Managing Director of WDPG, said: “We are proud to be launching this new fund which we hope will make a real difference to communities in Nuneaton and North Warwickshire.

“Every year we will be supporting a range of projects through this fund. Work is progressing well at Brookmill Meadows and the donations are part of our commitment to supporting the community in Warton.”

Phil McHugh, Managing Director, North West Midlands, Countryside, added: “Creating great places means integrating new communities with those already established. We want to positively impact those living around our schemes, and through this community fund we can make a real difference and leave a lasting legacy for local communities.”

Councillor Peter Butlin, Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property: “The Develop Warwickshire Community Fund is a brilliant way to extend the work of the joint venture for the benefit of local people and the wider community, and I’m pleased we have been able to launch the fund working with Warton residents on initiatives that are important to them.”

Published: 20th December 2023