The Green Initiatives Grant Programme was launched by The R&A, Dover District Council, Kent County Council and Sandwich Town Council to enable community groups and organisations in Sandwich to apply for funding to support initiatives that offer social, environmental and health and well-being benefits for the town and its residents.
A total of £52,500 was made available in funding, which included £25,000 each from The R&A and Dover District Council and £2,500 from Sandwich Town Council.
The six organisations selected to receive funding for community projects are Age Concern Sandwich Centre for the Retired, White Mill Rural Heritage Centre, Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust, St Clement’s PCC, Sir Roger Manwood’s School and East Kent Mencap.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “The Open’s return to Royal St George’s this year was a real success and we are grateful for the support provided by the local community in the lead up to and during the Championship.
“The Open Legacy Fund is our way of ensuring that the town and its residents benefit from the staging of the Championship, and we leave a lasting legacy for many years to come. We look forward to seeing the progress made by the projects which have been successful in applying to the Green Initiatives Grant Programme and hearing about the positive social and environmental benefits that they will provide.”
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council, said, “We enjoyed a spectacular week with the return of The Open to Royal St George’s this summer. Not only were we treated to world class golf, but we also got to learn more about The R&A’s commitment to sustainability, from protecting our coastal environments to cutting carbon emissions.
“I am particularly pleased that community groups in Sandwich are benefitting from The Open Legacy Fund with an exciting range of projects to build a cleaner, greener and healthier future.”
Cllr Paul Graeme, The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Sandwich, said, “Sandwich Town Council was delighted to work in collaboration with all partners involved with the organisation of the successful 149th Open. We are delighted that these organisations will benefit from this legacy fund and in turn so will our residents and visitors alike.”
As well as funding provided for the Green Initiatives Grant Programme, The R&A also invested £75,000 to support the redevelopment of the Guildhall Market Square alongside additional investment from Dover District Council, Sandwich Town Council, Prince’s Golf Club and Discovery Park.
The redevelopment project aims to transform the town’s market square for residents and visitors and will include resurfacing of the current square along with the installation of new features such as improved seating, lighting and a water fountain.
Age Concern Sandwich Centre for the Retired – “A Brighter Place”
Provision of new planters, shrubs and patio furniture to upgrade outdoor leisure space for the enjoyment and wellbeing of clients.
White Mill Rural Heritage Centre – “Stabilisation of historic workshop buildings & conservation of stream bank area”
Improvement works to an important educational and social resource, tourist attraction and landmark. The project will stabilise the foundations of the historic workshop buildings at the rear of the White Mill site as well as re-wilding and creating a water-based habitat for wildlife and wild plants along the bank of the nearby drainage watercourse, while creating a ‘green’ walkway to improve visitor access.
Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust – “Environmental Education Centre”
Providing learning opportunities for adults, young people and children of all ages and backgrounds – to increase their knowledge and understanding of conservation and in doing so help them value nature, understand how to access it and appreciate their responsibility for caring for the natural world.
Provision of outdoor learning space with capacity to cater for groups of up to 30 children. Equipment will be purchased to facilitate exploration and investigation of wildlife.
Outreach work in local community and development of school and holiday programmes.
St Clement’s PCC, Sandwich – “St Clement’s Churchyard Rediscovered”
The aim of the overall project is to restore a neglected Churchyard into a place of spiritual peace and tranquillity, whilst at the same time establishing a detailed historical record of the Sandwich residents interred in the Churchyard and developing a valuable environmental resource as a haven for local flora, fauna as well as bees, butterflies and insects. Once established this site will also become a rich educational resource that will be used to help people of all ages appreciate, recognise and understand the value of the natural world.
Sir Roger Manwood’s School – “Solar for Manwood’s – a giant step in our eco journey”
The Eco Society at Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich is run by a group of sixth formers and staff who aim to make the school more sustainable and raise awareness of environmental issues. As a school with over 1,000 students, Manwood’s is one of Sandwich’s major electricity users yet has no renewable energy despite being in one of the UK’s sunniest locations. The project will incorporate a solar array of 40 panels on the Sports Hall roof with a display panel in the school reception to show energy and carbon savings. Initial quotes demonstrate a saving of an estimated 5.5 tonnes of CO2 every year.
East Kent Mencap – “Green Photography Project”
A photography and craft group for adults with a learning disability will run a 6-month project to create an exhibition, showcasing their work documenting the local flora and fauna in photographs to celebrate the local area and the re-opening of Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust. Their work will form a travelling exhibition to be exhibited at SBBOT, St Mary’s Arts Centre in Sandwich and Discovery Park. The awarded funding will help purchase new photography equipment, including a new laptop for members to view images, and a printer to produce the best images to exhibit. It will also help with materials for the exhibitions, such as frames and mounts, as well as travel to and from Sandwich for members across the local area.