THE green light has been given to award thousands of pounds to voluntary and community groups in South Derbyshire.
South Derbyshire District Council will hand out £142,000 as part of its community partnership scheme to 16 community and volunteer groups during the 2013-14 financial year.
The authority received applications from 23 groups asking for £250,000.
Among the beneficiaries is the South Derbyshire Forum, which will receive £4,000 towards setting up a meals project for supporting older people when leaving hospital.
Swadlincote Boxing Academy were awarded a £4,000 grant to support the club’s move to new premises in the town.
The council’s housing and community services committee approved the money in a meeting on Thursday night.
John Lemmon, chairman of the housing and community services committee, told the Mail: “We are bucking the trend. While other councils are making cutbacks – we feel that our community activities are so important towards the quality of life in South Derbyshire.
“That is the consensus and is demonstrated by all councillors – there was no party political bias.
“Even in these tight times we recognise the service provided by various voluntary groups around the district and we will continue to support them wherever possible.
“The important message is that in this day and age we are not saving it and putting it towards some council activity.
“We see it as vitally important to the wellbeing of People in South Derbyshire.”
The community partnership scheme, which was first introduced in 2002, offers capital grants of up to £25,000 to voluntary and community projects.
The scheme’s budget usually varies between £50,000 and £150,000 but this year there was no annual budget.
Mr Lemmon added: “We hope these grants will enable the groups to close a gap in their funding and enable them to do a complete job.
“There is a diverse range of groups in South Derbyshire and it’s impossible to say there’s one particular area or activity we have focused on.
“It’s surprising the range of people we can help.”