Published: December 11, 2012
£1million Lotto windfall for communities near Burnham-On-Sea

An early Christmas present has this week been delivered to two communities near Burnham-On-Sea in the form of up to £1million over ten years from National Lottery funding.

The villages of Woolavington and Puriton have been chosen to receive the cash after the Big Local scheme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, identified they have proportionally received less lottery funding than other areas of the UK.

The announcement comes after staff from Sedgemoor District Council recently showed officials from the Big Lottery Fund around the district so that they had a sense of the whole area and the issues affecting communities.

"The emphasis is very much on residents and community groups in those areas working with Big Local to work on either community or business plans which could have all sorts of exciting projects in them. These plans, once approved by Big Local, can draw down money from the ring-fenced pot for that area," council spokeswoman Claire Faun told

"The scheme is completely resident-led so it will be entirely up to people living in the area to use the £1m on the things that matter to them and projects and services that will have the biggest impact on the needs they identify."

Residents will need to come together to spend the funding, which can be used on anything from starting up social enterprises and addressing unemployment to tackling local issues or providing more activities and services for people locally.

Woolavington and Puriton are among 50 communities announced on Monday as joining the existing 100 areas allocated at least £1million Lottery funding through the scheme.

Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund’s England Chair, explained: "These areas have for many years been overlooked and have missed out on vital funding and resources – they have people who are high on aspiration but until now have been low on opportunity."

"Through our long-term funding, commitment, training and support over at least the next ten years, we will redress that balance; giving them the power, confidence and ability to spend this funding in the ways that matter most to their community."

"This is the Lottery’s largest ever investment in community-led regeneration. This kind of investment is powerful – it goes way beyond annual budgetary cycles of local authorities or the parliamentary terms of well-intentioned governments. It is the kind of investment that is going to help people in these areas achieve lasting, meaningful change, for their children and generations to come."

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