News story

First funding allocated from Community Covenant Grant Scheme

A Scouts and Guides building in North Yorkshire is one of the first 6 successful bids for funding to come from the scheme.

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Supporters of the Bedale Beckside Project: (from left) Scout leader Marie Wilson, Wing Commander John Crenell, Acting Station Commander at RAF Leeming, Laura and Hannah Wilson, James Newton, from Native Architects, and Mrs Anne Sing [Picture:
Supporters of the Bedale Beckside Project in partnership with RAF Leeming

The Community Covenant Grant Scheme was established to support the Community Covenant and to fund local projects that bring together the civilian and Armed Forces communities.

Through funding from the scheme, a new building will replace the dilapidated one currently used as the Scouts and Guides headquarters in Bedale, near RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire.

The funding for the new Scouts and Guides building, dubbed the Bedale Beckside Project, is part of the first £5 million to come from the £30 million allocated to the grant scheme, which considers bids ranging from £100 to £250,000.

The new building, which is being erected by Randall Orchard Construction, is scheduled to take 24 weeks to complete and will stand on the current site. The building will accommodate Scouts and Guides meetings, with access to a separate teaching room for group work, and is designed to be a cost-effective building, with efficiency a top priority.

Wing Commander John Crennell, Acting Station Commander at RAF Leeming, said:

We at RAF Leeming value the support we receive from the local community, and we have been exceptionally pleased to work with Bedale in accessing the Ministry of Defence Community Covenant Grant Scheme.

Improvements to the provision and support of youth activities is acknowledged as important, and the town of Bedale, the surrounding villages and military dependants will benefit from the Beckside Project, which will provide a positive, modern, environmentally-sound and energy-efficient community facility. We look forward to its opening later this year.

The young people who will benefit from the new Scouts and Guides building in Bedale
The young people who will benefit from the new Scouts and Guides building in Bedale [Picture: Sergeant Jon Ryder, Crown copyright]

Other recent grant successes have included the building of accommodation for the continuation of a before-and-after school club at Brompton-on-Swale School, support to create a ‘Modern Army Display’ at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum using experiences gained from 2 local regiments, renovating the Lordswood Boys School Combined Cadet Force’s prefabricated building to provide an office, store and classroom, and funding to create an information portal or gateway that stimulates two-way interaction between the Armed Forces and civilian communities in Somerset.

The grant scheme was established to support the Community Covenant, which is a voluntary pledge of mutual support between a civilian community or other community bodies, whether they’re public, private or voluntary, and its local Armed Forces community. It is intended to complement the Armed Forces Covenant at the local level.

The aim of the Community Covenant is to encourage local communities to support the Service community in their area and encourage understanding and awareness between the two. It is also intended to encourage local authorities to take action to address unfair treatment.

Over 250 communities across Britain have now signed Community Covenants; a total which represents half of all local authorities in Britain. All local authorities in Scotland have signed Community Covenants.

In the coming year (2013 to 2014) the grant scheme has £10 million to spend. Delegating the allocation of the funding to regional panels will allow this money to reach the areas which will benefit the most. The Armed Forces Covenant team and the Treasury will retain oversight of the process.

Published 15 April 2013