A SELECTION of businesses and community-led groups in rural parts of North Somerset are benefitting from £180,000 of funding to help boost innovation, productivity, and community infrastructure.

The money, part of the government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund, has been allocated to 17 organisations in the region. A total of 24 applications for the funding were made.

Each project has been awarded with funding between £3,000 and £30,000 each.

It is hoped that the cash influx will help these groups to develop new projects and facilities to benefit the economy and address challenges that rural areas face, such as lower productivity rates, limited connectivity and poorer access to key services. 

The successful projects are as follows:

  • Banwell Parish Council – Solar Panels at the Youth and Community Centre and Scout Hall;
  • Brown Rock Woodland Community Interest Company – Infrastructure and Accessibility Improvements;
  • Curzon Clevedon Community Centre for the Arts – LED Lights and Digital Sound Infrastructure;
  • Hewish and Puxton Village Hall Ltd – Internet and projector facility;
  • Long Ashton Community Association – Village Hall Digital & LED Upgrade;
  • The Groundwork South Trust Limited – Goblin Combe for a Sustainable Future toilet block refurbishment;
  • The Woodland Warrior Programme CIC – Bee Hive Project;
  • Kindaco Ltd – Equipment for vegan cheese business;
  • Through the looking glass – Shop front improvements;
  • Mendip Activity Centre – New target sport zone, picnic area and storage;
  • PGCC Ltd/Laurel House – All weather accessible BBQ Lodge;
  • Field Doctor Ltd – Equipment for scale up and new product development;
  • Trethowans Dairy Ltd – New equipment for cheese presses;
  • Hullabaloos Lemonade – Production increase: scale up soft drink business;
  • Taylor Made Training Ltd – Equipment storage and office for caving business;
  • Giulios Boathouse Ltd – Giulio's Gelato: scale up ice cream business;
  • Maria's Bridal Boutique – Project upgrade: shop front improvements.

A second round of funding will be announced in spring 2024. £260,000 will be available.

Councillor Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s executive member for Spatial Planning, Placemaking and Economy, said: “We are pleased to support seventeen businesses and community groups during this latest funding round where I’m sure each project will benefit local communities as well as our wider economy.

"Thanks to UKSPF funding we are working to ensure we strengthen community ties across North Somerset and foster a sense of local belonging in all areas."