Eye Church of England Primary School, in the village of Eye, Peterborough, will be refurbishing its swimming pool thanks in part to a £5,000 donation from local housebuilder Larkfleet Homes.

Eye Primary School head teacher Jason Webster said the school was very thankful for the grant from the Larkfleet Community Fund.

He said: “We have had a pool at the school for some time but it is now starting to look tired.

“It is the school’s intention to get more closely involved in the community – for example we currently provide facilities for Eye Juniors Football Team and Eye Amateur Pantomime Society. Opening the pool to community users on evenings, weekends and holidays is part of that process.

“We need to renovate the pool to fulfil that ambition. We are close to reaching our target of £47,000 thanks to the donation from the Larkfleet Community Fund. Work on the refurbishment is due to begin in January and will take about six weeks to complete.”

The donation is the first major grant from the Larkfleet Community Fund, managed by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, following a change in the way it is run.

The Larkfleet Community Fund was established in 2013 to support the integration of Larkfleet housing developments within their local setting and help to create sustainable communities. It offered easily accessible cash to support local charitable projects.

Each housing development had its own ‘pot’ of money within the overall fund and the process of receiving applications and making grants was handed over to an independent local community foundation. 

For a variety of reasons, take-up of the available money has been low – the fund has only given out a total of £14,000.

There have been cases where good causes have come forward but, because they are not located in areas where there has been a related Larkfleet Homes development, they have not been able to access the fund. In some places, communities have struggled to identify specific projects that can benefit from the fund.

Karl Hick, CEO of The Larkfleet Group of Companies, said: “The previous arrangements seemed to be restricting our ability to make grants to good causes, which is not what we intended.”

As a result, Larkfleet has decided to change the way in which it operates and administers the fund. There will now be a single central fund which will make grants to any community organisation or charitable cause that operates close to a current Larkfleet Homes or Allison Homes development.

The new arrangements will help the company to administer and give out grants more quickly and across a wider area, directly benefiting more good causes and local people.

Karl Hick added: “Larkfleet Homes and Allison Homes are committed to making a difference to their local communities. We have a long history of supporting good causes and of helping to create communities, not just through the building of houses but also through grants to support projects that will benefit local people and the local neighbourhood.

“We believe the changes to the way we operate the Larkfleet Community Fund will help us to be more effective in the way we do this.”

The Cambridgeshire Community Foundation will administer the fund across all of Larkfleet's operational areas – not just Cambridgeshire. It will assess applications and recommend to Larkfleet the projects which it feels should be supported by the fund.

Applications can be made through the Community Foundation website at www.tiny.cc/larkfleet-fund.

Photo caption: Pictured with the donation from the Larkfleet Community Fund are from left to right Larkfleet’s director of planning Mark Mann, Eye C of E Primary School head teacher Jason Webster and PE teacher Mr D Lawlor with pupils at the school.