Communities living near a waste site in Bucks are missing out on thousands of pounds in funding due to rubbish grant applications.
Not-for-profit environmental body WREN distributes grants worth between £2,000 and £75,000 to community projects on behalf of FCC Environment, which operates a landfill site at Calvert and is also building an incinerator in the village.
The money is available to places within 10 miles of the site and comes from donations by FCC Environment as part of a voluntary environmental tax credit scheme called the Landfill Communities Fund.
A recent beneficiary was the Grendon Underwood Playground Project which received £72,728.
However, WREN says a number of projects in Bucks have failed to benefit from this funding because although they are eligible, insufficient evidence has been collected to demonstrate the need for the service or facility in the local area.
Grant manager for Buckinghamshire, Emma Brooks, said: “Not only are applications lower than we would like in Bucks, we also frequently receive applications from great projects that are being denied funding because they have not filled out the forms correctly. But I am here to help.
“We want to reach out to as many people involved in eligible projects as possible and let them know that the money is there and how to access it properly. That’s why I’m encouraging anyone thinking about making improvements to their community to get in touch. I’m always on hand to provide advice on how the application process works and help with the completion of relevant documentation.”
WREN will only fund capital projects that enhance a community facility and which have strong evidence of support and need from the local residents.
Emma said: “We ask applicants to provide proof that their project has backing from people in their village or town. This can be achieved by conducting a survey or petition of local residents or collecting letters from councillors, local authorities and MPs.
“I would urge local groups to contact me directly when putting their application together. I can provide the advice they will need to have a better chance of receiving funding. It’s so important because WREN can provide grants that are essential in improving the quality of life of those living in rural communities who may not have the services they need.”
Applications for up to 100% of funding can be made for projects of all sizes.
Community grants ranging from £2,000 to £75,000 have funded new and improved community facilities such as halls, playgrounds, parks and skate parks.