Larkfleet Group – the East Midlands based housebuilding and development organisation – has announced the first payments as part of an innovative new community benefit scheme linked to the construction of new houses.
In total the grants available through this scheme could amount to more than £500,000 across Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire over the next five years.
The Larkfleet Community Fund proposes to pay up to £500 for each house built for sale on the open market on new Larkfleet Homes developments, up to a maximum individual fund of £75,000 for each site.
This is part of the company’s overall commitment to creating sustainable communities and in recognition of the need to support the integration of new housing developments with existing communities.
Since its inception in 2013, the fund has been advertised as part of 16 potential developments in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire and, following the grant of planning permission, has now been put in place at seven sites: Laceby, Pinchbeck, Horncastle, Colsterworth and Louth in Lincolnshire and two sites in Eye, Peterborough.
The individual community funds announced so far will total:
- Laceby – £40,000
- Pinchbeck – £56,500
- Colsterworth – £16,000
- Horncastle – £32,000
- Louth – £43,000
- Eye – £42,000 in total across both sites
For each fund, Larkfleet works through an established local community foundation trust which will manage the fund independently. The foundation will be responsible for inviting and assessing applications from local community groups, making grants and monitoring progress.
The first payments under the scheme have now been paid out in Eye, with subsequent payments expected on the other six sites with planning permission during 2016-17.
Jane Darlington, CEO of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, commented:
“Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is pleased to be working with Larkfleet on its innovative Community Fund and is managing the process for Larkfleet.
“The first community to benefit from the Fund is Eye, where Larkfleet is taking forward a new development at Parson’s Prospect. We are working closely with Eye Parish Council and are now inviting applications for grants from charitable projects which will benefit local residents.”
Other funds will be put in place as and when other sites are developed.
Allison Homes, which is also part of the Larkfleet Group, will be announcing details of a similar scheme in due course.
Karl Hick, CEO of Larkfleet Group, said:
“We all know that there is a desperate shortage of houses in this country and in this area. But we must also recognise that the challenge is more than about building houses – it is about creating communities. We need to ensure that new developments contribute to and integrate quickly with existing communities and are built with minimal disruption to local people.
“The Larkfleet Community Fund aims to address this issue and offers communities opportunities to bid for financial support for projects and causes that deliver at the local level.”