Members of a Heaton Mersey scout group are celebrating after winning thousands of pounds to revitalise their scout hut for the benefit of youngsters and the local community.
The 1st Heaton Vale Sea Scouts have been handed £5,000 by Lloyds Banking Group Community Fund to improve their Cutty Sark headquarters, on Didsbury Road.
The group plan to use the cash to repair battered, temporary fencing that allows easy access to the centre but prevents users from exploiting its potential.
Once installed, organisers plan to develop a drop kerb to allow them to bring equipment on site and store it safely, giving them more space for indoor activities.
The scouts beat off stiff competition from community groups across the region to land the funding, after finishing in the top two of a public vote organised by Lloyds.
And Jeremy Toone, the former chairman of the group and now a volunteer, wants the redevelopment to eventually lead to a facility used by everyone in the community.
“The fund will allow us to build a proper fence around the site and make it secure and we would like future developments too,” he said.
“It is very underutilised at the moment – I think there are three meeting nights a week, it is vacant more than it is used.
“It is an attractive property, right in the centre of the village and we hope it can bring in local groups and be used as a meeting point and a focal point for the community.
“It is right on the main street but nobody knows it is there. We want it to become an identifiable asset for the community and that will help us get a bit of income, too.”
More than 200,000 people took part in a public vote online and at Olympic Torch Relay celebrations between May and September to select the charities they wanted to receive the cash, part of £660,000 Lloyds Banking Group is investing across the UK.
In total, 132 projects are set to receive £5,000 as part of the Lloyds Banking Group campaign and community and sustainable business director, Paul Turner, said: “Becoming the best bank for customer’s means being the best bank for our communities.
“The Group has 30 million customers and has a clear role to play in society helping communities thrive. The Community Fund highlights the Group’s ongoing commitment to the communities we serve and doing more to help Britain prosper.
“We are proud to be able to help the 1st Heaton Vale Sea Scouts continue the great work they are doing in Greater Manchester and we look forward to seeing the difference the award will make.”
Lloyds Banking Group, the largest financial services investor in UK communities, has provided funding to 132 organisations around the UK through its Community Fund in 2012. To find out more about the Group’s community investment, visit www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/community