Thousands announced for first round ‘winners’ in district council’s community scheme

BRAINTREE District Council has announced the first nine projects to receive investment from its half a million pound Mi community scheme - to invest in people with ideas to improve their community.

Mi community scheme was created to inspire people to identify the problems that affect their area and enable them, with financial investment and professional support, to create and deliver a great solution in their community.

Of the 17 applicants who made it through to the final round, nine have been selected by the judging panel which comprised Cllr Gabrielle Spray, chairman of the Locality Working Group, and three councillors. The panel scored all applicants against the criteria: those selected will together receive a total of over �118,000.

Cllr Joanne Beavis, cabinet member for Communities, said: “We received lots of great ideas and those announced this week met our challenging criteria. We recognised that they presented the best opportunities for a return on our investment – either socially or economically.”

Over the remaining three years of Mi Community, there is now just over �375,000 left to be invested in groups, organisations or individuals with ideas to improve communities. The next round of Mi Community will launch later this year.

Cllr Spray said “People will now be able to see how Mi community can provide the funding to get local people’s great ideas off the ground. I’m really looking forward to seeing these ideas reach fruition.”

The nine successful projects, based in Braintree, Witham, White Colne, Sible Hedingham and Helions Bumpstead, are:

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• Molly’s Wood, Sible Hedingham

Aim: preserving and encouraging an interest in our natural surroundings by offering environmental and educational activities for the community.


• Braintree & Bocking Public Garden Caf�, Braintree

Aim: Conversion of an unused gardener’s lodge into a caf� to attract visitors to the Public Gardens.


• Helions Bumpstead Salt Spreader, Helions Bumpstead

Aim: Having an accessible salt spreader available for other parts of the District, to improve road safety for all.


• PARC Charity Shop, Braintree

Aim: A unique and innovative charity outlet in the heart of the Braintree offering employment and training opportunities for disadvantaged young people in the community.


• Glebe Hall Improvements, Braintree

Aim: Conversion of a local venue to cater for recreational, family, and company events.


• Braintree Foyer’s ‘Open Talent’ project, Braintree

Aim: challenging the unrealised talent of local young people into regular showcase events that they organise, manage and present.


• Witham Forum – Park Preschool Gardening Club, Witham

Aim: Converting unused school land to enable school children to learn about growing flowers and vegetables for their community.


• Braintree & Bocking Community Speed Watch, Braintree and Bocking

Aim: Community volunteers helping the police to reduce speeding vehicles in the area.


• White Colne 50 Club, White Colne

Aim: Conversion of the village hall into a more attractive community space for local people and potential hirers.


The announcement was made by Cllr Spray at the council meeting held at Causeway House, Braintree, on Monday.