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Sunday, April 21, 2024


Sixteen organisations in Cheshire and Greater Manchester will receive a combined total of more than £25,000 in grants, following the latest meeting of Manchester Airport’s Community Trust Fund.

Trustees consider applications for up to £3,000 of funding for community-led projects or not-for-profit organisations, with requests reviewed on a quarterly basis.

The Community Trust Fund was founded in December 1997 and has made donations totalling in excess of £3.5m to community-led projects in Manchester, Trafford, Stockport, Tameside and Cheshire.

Among those to benefit this time out are Mobberley Junior Football Club in East Cheshire. They have been awarded £3,000 for the purchase and fitting of a 20ft container, which will be used for storing equipment.

David Clayton, a coach at the club, said: “We are extremely grateful for the generous funding from Manchester Airport’s Community Trust Fund.

“As a community club that has grown significantly in this past year, this funding will allow us to obtain and install much-needed storage space at our home pitch, so we can continue to expand and provide great equipment and facilities for the young boys and girls that benefit from playing football in our village.

“Getting children involved in grass-roots sports has so many benefits and this funding will allow the club to continue to provide something of real value to the community.”

Friends of Philips Park Cemetery, working in partnership with Friends of Southern Cemetery in Chorlton, will get £1,036 towards a statue honouring Wojtek the Bear, as part of a project to engage visitors with the cemetery’s World War II history.

Wojtek was rescued as an abandoned cub in Iran by a Polish Army unit stationed there. He travelled with them as a mascot through the Middle East and North Africa, eventually arriving in Italy, where his unit served alongside the British Eighth Army. British troops were astounded to see Wojtek playing an active role on the battlefield, carrying and loading heavy artillery. After the war they brought him back to the UK and he was rehomed at Edinburgh Zoo, where he lived out the rest of his days in more peaceful surroundings.

The Eighth Army has strong ties to the North West, and the Friends group hopes the statue of Wojtek will help engage visitors, particularly young ones, who visit the cemetery’s many war graves.

Gail Spelman, a member of the group, said: “There are five Council-run cemeteries across Manchester. Each cemetery has its own Friends group and we like to work together to share ideas.

“We are very grateful to have received funding from Manchester Airport’s Community Trust Fund for Southern Cemetery. We now have more school groups visiting, so this will help engage children with the subject of the cemetery’s World War II history.”

Others to be granted funds include Newton Cricket Club in Hyde, who will receive £3,000 towards new sight screens. The club’s chairman Paul Billingsley was “delighted” to be awarded the grant, stating that the money would “improve facilities at Newton Cricket Club and all members will benefit.”

A payment of £1,300 will be made to Lach Dennis Parish Council in West Cheshire, which is embarking on a wildflower meadow project. Parish Clerk, Lyndsey Sandison explained: “Local volunteers, councillors and the Cheshire Wildlife Trust have been working together to rejuvenate a large wildflower meadow in Lach Dennis. With this funding, we can now install a bench and picnic table which will allow members of the community and passers-by to enjoy the peaceful tranquillity of the area.”

Webb Lane Allotments, in Stockport, were offered £2,994 for the installation of a new, secure tool shed. Allotment Secretary, Mike Rodgers said: “We are very grateful for this funding. Our allotment is in the midst of a major programme of refurbishment, which will include having accessible toilets installed and constructing new facilities, and this tool storage container is the final piece in the jigsaw for us.” (Pictured – allotment users who will soon have a more permanent place to store their tools)

Friends of Worthington Park, in Sale, will get £940 to fit two new park benches. Helen McGlashan, from Friends of Worthington Park, said: “We are extremely grateful for this award in support of our project to improve community access and biodiversity within the park.

“Our park is well used by different sectors of the community including the young, the elderly, those seeking to improve their physical and mental health, dog walkers and family groups. The award will be used to increase the current number of picnic benches with improved disability access to these facilities.”

The full list of organisations to be awarded a grant at July’s meeting, and what they will be using the money for, can be found below.

Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director at Manchester Airport, said: “The Community Trust Fund has made an enormous contribution to our neighbouring communities since it was first conceived 25 years ago, and the range of donations agreed at the latest meeting is testament to that.

“If you are involved in a community initiative or not-for-profit group, based within 10 miles of the airport, you can ask for up to £3,000 towards equipment or costed projects, and we would love to hear from you ahead of the trustees’ next meeting in October.”

The Community Trust Fund is overseen by the airport and managed by a committee of independent trustees, formed of councillors from the six local authority areas which fall within the fund’s catchment area. It provides cash either as a contribution to, or to meet the full cost of, not-for-profit initiatives.

The airport contributes £100,000 per year to the fund, which is topped up by the fines levied on airlines which breach noise restrictions.

Details on how to apply for a Community Trust Fund grant, and the full criteria, can be found here. The deadline for applications to be considered at October’s meeting is Friday 5th September.


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