Developers offer community cash

Giltbrook Retail Park.
Giltbrook Retail Park.
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THOUSANDS of pounds is being offered to community projects in the area by the developers of the Giltbrook Retail Park.

British Land is offering money to help projects in education, training and employment or schemes that ‘regenerate the community infrastructure and its facilities’.

Retail centre manager Dennis Copeland said the company offered the funding in the past but had a lack of response.

“We have had an open briefcase full of money and nobody has been interested,” he said.

“We’ve been looking for something in the area for some time.”

The money is being offered as part of the company’s ‘corporate and social’ responsibility.

Mr Copeland said there was no limit on the number of projects, which could cost anything between £1,000 and £50,000 each.

He said: “Rather than give a few hundred quid here and there we would rather do bigger projects so we can see the impact of the contribution and it will have a longer lasting effect.

“We don’t just want to give away a bag of cash. We want to become involved in it all and engage in the community.

“We want to build good relationships in the area where we are.”

Mr Copeland is working with Kimberley councillor Richard Robinson who has emailed 800 residents in the area asking for ideas.

The councillor said he would like to see money invested zebra crossings on Noel Street and Digby Street in Kimberley, funding for a community allotment at Kimberley Primary School and an updated feasibility study for a tram link out to the area.

Once all the ideas are collated, Mr Copeland will present the suggestions to a board of managers at British Land.

“It’s about funding something that captures the imagination of the board,” he said.

“We are looking for anything that fits the criteria and the board will work out what they think is best value for money.”

Mr Copeland said until two years ago the company only spent the money near to retail sites in London, but it has recently branched out to the rest of the UK.

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