Lots of great news to report this month. Some time ago at one of our network meetings, we had a really helpful presentation about the Community infrastructure levy (CIL) funding, which is a fund of up to £5 million from a charge local authorities can make on new building developments, to raise funds for the improvement of roads, sports, school and medical facilities, open spaces and flood defences.

Cabinet councillors have now given the green light to a wide range of bids for CIL funding that will see £1.2 million allocated to projects in the Lewes district.

Councillor Emily O’Brien, Cabinet Member for Planning, said “CIL funding is a proving a real game-changer in our local communities, with health, wellbeing and social benefits being generated. The improved sports facilities in this round of funding is great news and I’m particularly pleased to see the major funding being committed to the cycle route from Newhaven to Piddinghoe.” Some £250,000 from the combined county and community pots will part fund the construction of 1.5km of cycle way alongside the River Ouse, known as the Egrets Way Project.

We were lucky enough to hear more about the Egrets Way project in our last network meeting, and we are absolutely delighted at their success.

As a collaboration of community groups, Greenhavens was able to write a letter of support to aid the Egrets Way funding application. We can’t over emphasise how important these letters are to funders. The fact that we represent 97 community groups is significant. The power of us all working together is immense and can only continue to bring more funding into our green spaces. Do let us know if we can support you like this. That’s what this network was created for, to enable you all to carry on doing great things in our green spaces.

A statement from the Egrets Way project reads

“While there is still much to be done, these recent developments have given us confidence that our aim to complete the network in the next few years can be realised. So please bear with us and continue your support of the Egrets Way Project. Once again, it has to be stated that none of this could have been achieved without the consistent support which the Egrets Way Project has received from local communities, landowners, councillors, Sustrans, and our key partner, the South Down National Park, as well as the many organisations and individuals who have provided both encouragement and financial support.”

Many congratulations to them.

Also in this round of district funding allocations from the CIL, £20,000 will go towards the resurfacing of tennis courts at the Salts Recreation Ground in Seaford, alongside new flood lighting and fencing and £56,000 will help deliver resurfacing on the tennis courts and ball court in Newhaven Fort Recreation Ground, and ramped access to the venue.

A further £13,280 will establish an electricity supply to the Denton Island Band Stand in Newhaven.

Nearly £3,000 will part-fund three water refill stations on Seaford seafront to reduce the use of single use plastics. This great result, was thanks to “Refill Newhaven and Seaford” group who have been lobbying the council to apply for this funding. You can read more about this project here, and hear more from them at our December Greenhavens Network Meeting.

If your community group needs funding, it’s well worth subscribing to this newsletter, to hear about all the opportunities for grant funding, and local success stories.

You may also be interested in these free crowdfunding workshops in East Sussex this November, where you can learn more about the support available when it comes to starting a crowdfunding project and maximising fundraising opportunities.

Finally there is a new lottery coming to Lewes! Lewes District Council has launched a new online lottery to support local good causes. Greenhavens have applied to be one of the causes who will benefit. Tickets will be on sale online from November 15, with the first draw to be made on December 14.

With a weekly jackpot of £25,000 up for grabs, tickets cost just £1 with 60p going towards local good causes, compared to just 28p in the pound for the National Lottery. There are also prizes of £2,000, £250, £25 or three free tickets. Do support the lottery when it launches if you can so that Greenhavens and other community groups can benefit.

Councillor Ruth O’Keeffe, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Devolution, said:

The council already supports good causes through our grant funding and with the launch of the Lewes District Local Lottery even more voluntary and charitable groups in the district will benefit.”

Any groups in the district that want to take advantage of the new lottery funding should visit the website and complete an application.

Greenhavens have been applying for other funding too, so that we can better support your groups going forward! More details to follow soon.

So on your bike! Good luck, and do let us know how you get on.