A COMMUNITY scheme to revamp a former bowling alley has been given a boost with £25,000 of funding.

Breakers Community Interest Company is the first local scheme to submit a successful bid for a £25,000 share of Test Valley Borough Council’s community asset fund.

Councillor Tony Ward, portfolio holder for community and leisure, said: “I am delighted to see the first round of grants awarded to such fantastic projects.

“The community asset fund provides new hope for community initiatives that might not previously have been able to get off the ground.

“I look forward to seeing the next round of bids come forward to request funding.”

At the beginning of the year Breakers was turned down for funding from Hampshire County Council.

It was hoped it would be the final amount needed to begin the revamp of the former Stryx building, in Bridge Street, Andover.

However, organiser Anji Gillies and her team have vowed to continue fundraising to turn the club into a place where people young and old can meet.

The borough council has also agreed to award grants to a number of other schemes including £4,000 to 4th Andover Scouts, £6,150 to Andover Cricket Club and £2,000 to Andover Neighbourcare.

Clubs, charities, voluntary organisations, parish and town councils, village and community hall committees and village shops will be eligible to apply for a share of £300,000. Applicants can submit bids for 50 per cent of the cost of a project, up to a maximum of £25,000.

Groups have until 6 March to submit bids for the second round of grants.

The bids will be reviewed by a grant panel on 10 April to agree which projects will receive funding.

The council will award grants four times per year and cut-off dates for submissions for each round will be published on the authority’s website.

Projects potentially eligible for funding include community projects, new builds, refurbishments to existing community buildings, play and recreation equipment and public art.

Funding for the grants will come from the council’s new homes bonus reserve, which is created by the Government matching the council tax income for six years from new homes created in the borough.

The council is able to use this money to help meet the needs of its growing communities.

Full terms and conditions and an application form can be found online at testvalley.gov.uk/CAF. Hard copies of the documents can be obtained from community engagement officer, Marianne Piggin, on 01264 368000.