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Event highlights Euro funding successes
Grand opening of the new Broadwindsor Community Shop. With the shop committee outside the shop is Oliver Letwin MP
WEST Dorset projects benefiting from European funding will have a chance to show off at a celebration party next month.
And local action group Chalk and Cheese hope their innovative ideas will spark other groups into coming up with ways of accessing money from Eur-ope in future.
The award-winning Broadwind-sor Community Stores will be giving a presentation on how a village shop became a true community venture and Spirit of Bridport will be showing the three short films promoting the area produced with Chalk and Cheese funding by Watershed PR.
Local food will be available – and some surprises.
Some of the projects have offered raffle prizes, including weekend courses in stone carving or wood whittling, and even a guided tour of the Marshwood Vale by electric bike.
The celebration will be held at the George Albert Hotel at Wardon Hill on Thursday, Nov-ember 21.
It will provide an opportunity for Dorset’s rural businesses and community to have a look at benefits brought to the area with funding from Europe’s Agricul-tural Fund for Rural Develop-ment.
Most of this money goes to help farmers across member states, but an amount is set aside to support rural communities and businesses through local action groups.
In the Chalk & Cheese area, that was £2.065m over the last seven years, shared out between 40 projects. Negotiations are under way at government level at the moment to decide how much money will be available from 2015.
The team hopes to encourage communities and businesses to think about innovative ways they might access this funding from 2015, for the benefit of their community and the wider area.
Programme manager Hannah Lovegrove said: “The local action group is open to everyone who has an interest in their rural community.
“One of 64 local action groups around rural England, its principal role is to provide communities with a voice in local democracy, with access to funding for projects which support local strategies.
“Meetings are held regularly in venues around the Chalk and Cheese area, to give as many people as possible the opportunity to take part in the decision-making process about how European Funds are delivered in this part of Dorset.”
To find out more – and to see examples of projects recently funded – visit the website www.chalkandcheese.org or contact the programme team on 01305 228699.