Community projects benefit from £1m of East Midlands Airport funding


The launch of a new Heritage Trail in Swadlincote is one of 1,275 of projects across the East Midlands to have benefitted from East Midlands Airport (EMA) community funding.

The East Midlands Airport Community Fund was established in April 2002 to bring lasting benefit to the communities around the airport. Since then, EMA has awarded £1m to projects in the region.

The new Swadlincote Heritage Trail, unveiled on Tuesday 26 June, is one such project which was kicked-started thanks to the initial grant from the airport. This then unlocked further funding from the likes of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Types of projects that have received funding include:

- Staunton Harold Sailing Club - £1,000 towards the cost of equipment to help them to develop a sailing programme for disabled people

- Kegworth Plan Group - £1000 for the redevelopment of Side Leys recreation ground into a more inclusive, diverse and interactive space

- The 209 Squadron Air Cadets - £2,000 towards the cost of a minibus

- Kegworth Village Hall - £1,000 for new tables

- Aston on Trent Recreation - £1,000 for new kitchen equipment

The Swadlincote Heritage trail celebrates some of the town’s most inspirational people, places and industries from Swadlincote and the surrounding villages of Woodville, Hartshorne, Midway, Newhall and Church Gresley.

Along the trail are a number of plaques and lecterns with accompanying leaflets, web pages and an app which contain information, facts and stories about people and businesses of interest. Boxer Jack Bodell, suffragette Hannah Mitchell and Sharpe’s Pottery will be featured. The detail was researched by local people with support from local history archive, The Magic Attic.

The trail will be showcased at the Festival of Leisure on 23/24th June for the public with a preview of the trail and activities for families and schools.

The Trail will be launched on Tuesday 26 June,1pm at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum.

The event will be attended by local man John Avery, Impresario, and his family and work colleagues from the London Palladium.

Colleen Hempson, East Midlands Airport’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, says: “We’re delighted to support the launch of a new heritage trail in Swadlincote. This is the sort of project that can make a significant difference to the community. Over the years we’ve awarded £1m to projects like this and this is a great example of how a small grant can make a big difference.”

EMA’s Community Fund is managed independently by a Community Fund Management Committee that meets six times a year, and is open to community groups within a defined ‘area of benefit’ that meet certain criteria.

The Fund is currently supported by an annual donation of £50,000 from the airport and through the fines imposed when aircraft exceed strict noise limits. The Community Fund awards grants to support eligible projects that have a long-lasting community, social or environmental benefit and can award a maximum of £2,000 per application.

How to apply for funding