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£59k funding pot to be made available to Ipswich estate

PUBLISHED: 06:51 31 August 2019

The Ravenswood Tump and park which is expected to have a bid for £26,000 of Community Fund cash approved. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The Ravenswood Tump and park which is expected to have a bid for £26,000 of Community Fund cash approved. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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A fund of nearly £60,000 which has been dormant for several years is to be made available to Ipswich's Ravenswood community for vital projects.

Sarah Barber said it was good for the community to be able to bid for a share of the fund. Picture: GREGG BROWNSarah Barber said it was good for the community to be able to bid for a share of the fund. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Ravenswood Community Fund was formed by the two developers of the estate - Ashwell's and Bellway Homes, managed by a committee featuring Bellway directors, borough councillors and council staff.

But the committee no longer meets and no bids have been received for several years, despite more than £59,000 remaining in the pot.

On Thursday, Ipswich Borough Council's south east area committee is expected to agree to adopt the fund, which it will promote for projects in the Ravenswood area to bid for a share of.

At the same meeting, the committee will be asked to decide on a £26,400 bid by the Greenways Project to resurface the main path from Ravenswood to Orwell Country Park, and the creation of some steps to lead up to the 'Tump' - an artificial hill which has eroded on its steepest side where people frequently climb up but provides a picturesque view across the park and town.

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Councillor Stephen Connelly, south east area committee chairman, said: "With community projects it's not always easy to get groups to come forward with projects that are viable, and there are relatively few bids.

"Ravenswood Wildlife Group have been really keen to have something spent on the Tump.

"The key is really to try and improve access to the Tump, particularly for pedestrians, make it safer and better for wildlife."

Councillor Sarah Barber added that it would help protect the areas surrounding the Tump where skylarks nest, and added: "It's a great view from there and that will be a real benefit for all the members of the community, and help people have ownership of it."

It is understood the fund will still have conditions attached to it, including a need for projects to demonstrate a significant benefit to those living in Ravenswood, and a requirement for it to be used for one-off projects rather than funding a community group's running costs.

According to the council's report, when it was established it featured a £30,000 contribution from Ashwell's for a cricket pavilion that was never needed, and £100 per private property by Bellway.

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