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Funding boost for Knowsley community groups

by Jonathan Kearney

Three community organisations in Knowsley are to benefit from the Council’s Community Empowerment Fund 2020/21.

Knowsley Vale Amateur Boxing Club, New Destinations Hub and Knowsley Enterprise Academy will receive a share of the £45,000 funding allocation.

The allocation of the Community Empowerment Fund has been approved by the Council’s Cabinet.

The Knowsley Community Empowerment Fund aims to support the development and growth of third sector and community organisations in the borough, with the ultimate aim of supporting residents.

Knowsley Vale Amateur Boxing Club

The Club has been awarded a grant of £16,135 to support the renovation of the former St Michael’s Church in Westvale, which has been gifted to the Club. The Club is seeking funding to create a boxing training and community kitchen for people in Kirkby, and to upgrade toilets at the facility.

New Destinations Hub

Huyton-based New Destinations has been awarded £9,365 to fund the salary of a support worker for four months and to invest in a community garden which will be used by its clients. The community interest company exists to provide a positive and stimulating alternative day service for adults aged over 40 years old with learning disabilities. The company does this through the provision of activities which promote independence, improve mental health, and tackle social inclusion.

Knowsley Enterprise Academy

The Academy, based on Knowsley Business Park, has been awarded £20,000 to contribute to a re-development of the Ormside Education Centre in Eden Valley, Cumbria, which has been used as an outdoor education facility by young people from Knowsley since the 1960s.

Knowsley Enterprise Academy has utilised the space since 2017 to provide activities for people with disabilities, on a low income or people facing social exclusion. The £350,000 development will house a kitchen and dining area, multi-use recreational and education space, and a fully accessible suite. Additional en-suite dormitories will increase the occupancy of the Centre to 48 beds.

Proposed front elevation of new Ormside Centre

The proposed improvements will enable the Centre to increase and engage the target beneficiaries in a range of outdoor educational activities. Knowsley Enterprise Academy has secured £250,000 of match funding and is progressing other funding bids to secure the balance of £80,000.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “We want to support local organisations who help our residents and the wider community, particularly disadvantaged and marginalised residents. This funding will help sustain and improve the quality of the offer of these community organisations, helping them to reach and support more people in Knowsley.”

In September last year five voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise projects shared £98,000 funding from the Knowsley Community Empowerment Fund.