COMMUNITY groups in West Cumbria have received grants worth almost £370,000 from the Cumbria Community Foundation.

IN total, 44 charitable organisations received a share of the funds at a recent West Cumbria Grants Committee.

The money came from funds set up by locals and businesses including Lord Egremont, CCL Secure, LLWR, Shepley Group and Sellafield Ltd.

Looking to improve digital connectivity, Isel Valley Community Partnership CIC received £15,000 from the Tallentire Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund to bring fibre broadband to rural homes in the Blindcrake area.

David Roberts from the Isel Valley, said: “Our partnership was set up to facilitate the roll out of full fibre broadband in the Isel Valley which is presently served by poor telephone and internet services.

"The substantial grant from Cumbria Community Foundation will go a long way in bridging the funding gap.”

Two individuals also received grants to support their career development through educational grants.

New charitable organisation BEE UNIQUE, based in Flimby, was set up to support families with autistic children.

It received £2,000 from the CCL Secure Community Fund and the Shepley Group Fund to purchase sensory and tactile play equipment for community events.

Founders, Nadia Shaw and Dave Parsons, said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received to date and it has allowed us to purchase the equipment to hold small events for a single family at a time during Covid restrictions, but the grant allows us to grow along with the easing of the lockdown and cater for more families.”

Other organisations to receive funding included Allerdale Disability Association getting £8,618 from the Pappagallino Fund to support people with disabilities.

There was also a boost for secondary schools in Allerdale, receiving £98,000 from the Mary Grave Trust Fund, Beverley Charitable Trust Fund and Live the Dream Fund awarding disadvantaged students with access to laptops for remote learning.

Annalee Holliday, senior grants, programmes & communications officer, said: “This is a great example of how philanthropy is helping local people thrive.”