News

£1.25 million grant towards Bridgwater Carnival redevelopment programme

April 21, 2023

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) has awarded a £1.25 million grant, their largest to date, to the Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, to support the charity’s efforts to create a modern ‘home of Carnival’ in Bridgwater. The funding has been made available through the Hinkley Point C (HPC) Community Fund, funded by EDF.

The £1.25 million award has helped unlock a further £3 million of match funding from the Bridgwater Town Deal funding programme to enable the charity to improve access to their main site and build four large sheds for the charity and some of their members. It is part of a long-term project to renovate the entire site.

Justin Sargent, Chief Executive at Somerset Community Foundation said: “The Awards Panel recognised the incredible role that Carnival plays in Bridgwater and the surrounding area, with thousands of people actively involved throughout the year. Not only is it an important cultural event, collectively the clubs provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn skills, feel connected with their community and have a lot of fun. This is by some distance the largest grant we have ever awarded, but in many ways the Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival is, by some distance, the largest community organisation we have encountered in Somerset.”

Picture of the 2022 carnival winners, the Ramblers Carnival Club ‘I Wanna Rock’. Photo credit: Peter J Nicholls Photography

The 2022 carnival winners, the Ramblers Carnival Club with their entry, ‘I Wanna Rock’. Photo credit: Peter J Nicholls Photography

Chris Hocking, the charity’s Project Manager said: “It has been a long process to get to this stage but, at last, we are now well on the way towards making huge improvements to our Bristol Road site for the benefit of our carnival clubs and the community.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to our freelance project manager, Martin Davidson, who has been of tremendous value in helping us to reach this stage, and also to the Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival committee and clubs who have backed the project over the last four years.”

The Awards Panel, which includes SCF trustees, EDF and Council representatives and independent members from the local community, provisionally awarded the funding in December last year, but it was contingent on match funding and planning permission being granted. Match funding was confirmed by the Government in March and planning permission has just been granted in the past few days, so the charity is now able to proceed with its ambitious and exciting plans.

The HPC Community Fund has awarded 238 grants worth over £7 million to communities most affected by the construction of the new nuclear power station, since the fund was first launched in 2017.

If you run a local community project in Somerset and would like to find out more about grant funding from the HPC Community Fund, please call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949 or visit: www.hpcfunds.co.uk

If you would like to discuss your project or idea please contact Amelia Thompson, Senior Programmes Manager: amelia.thompson@somersetcf.org.uk

The HPC Community Fund is part of a wider £20 million commitment of funding, provided by EDF through Section 106 agreements, for communities that are affected by the development of the new nuclear power station, to promote their social, economic and environmental wellbeing and enhance their quality of life. Hundreds of projects have benefitted, and in total almost £13.3 million in grants have been awarded to date.

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) is a grant-making charity that helps passionate people in Somerset change the world on their doorstep by funding local charities and inspiring local giving and philanthropy. They aim to build stronger communities in Somerset where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Through their grant-making they provide rewarding and impactful ways for donors to give through them, to the causes and places they care about most. Together, they fund amazing organisations and the passionate people that change lives every day.

Since SCF were founded in 2002 they’ve awarded more than £20 million in funding, changing thousands of lives across Somerset.


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