COMMUNITY projects across Basingstoke and Deane have been the beneficiaries of funding granted by Hampshire County Council (HCC).

At a meeting held on Thursday, 7 December, the county council’s executive member for culture, recreation and countryside, Councillor Andrew Gibson awarded more than £500,000 to various projects across Hampshire.

The grants have been made available from the culture and recreation fund and community buildings capital fund.

One of the largest sums awarded in the borough was granted to the Anvil Trust, which runs Anvil Arts, the organisation that runs the Anvil and Haymarket theatres.

HCC granted the trust £68,400 to continue music-based community and education programmes through workshops and projects with schools and neighbourhoods.

Christine Bradwell, chief executive at Anvil Arts, said: “The Anvil Trust is pleased that Hampshire County Council has confirmed its ongoing investment for 2017-18.

“As well as going towards the costs of The Anvil and The Haymarket, this investment helps support our year-round programme of work in the community and schools. Whether it is sending musicians into rural schools or working with people with dementia, their families and carers, this investment makes it easier for us to continue to provide important services in Hampshire.”

Other organisations which are benefitting from the grant include Proteus Theatre Company, which received £38,315 to deliver artist-led theatre work to communities which are rurally isolated or socially deprived, Buckskin and Worting Community Association, granted £6,290 to develop a jobs club and extra lunch club sessions for a community in an area in the top 10 per cent most deprived areas in Hampshire, and Fluid Motion Theatre Company being awarded £6,000 to continue professional touring work on a range of mental health themes by delivering education and community projects to around 18,000 people a year.

Elsewhere, the Whitchurch Silk Mill was given £19,265 to continue work offering learning activities and events, and support its long term financial stability.

Cllr Gibson said: “This round of funding will help Hampshire’s cultural and community organisations continue with their diverse and valued work for residents of all ages through arts, learning and culture.

“Importantly, a good number of organisations are focussing on ensuring that those at risk of social isolation are not forgotten, but integrated into positive, inclusive activities at the heart of their communities.”