NEARLY 30 community groups across Hambleton are to receive cash awards from the District Council’s £125,000 "Making a Difference" fund.

Members of the authority’s cabinet has approved grants to 29 organisations – which ranged from £10,000 for Thirsk Clock to £2,500 for church repairs in Leeming and play park improvements in Raskelf.

The funding stream was established three years ago and this year each of the five market towns and the surrounding areas – Northallerton, Stokesley, Thirsk, Easingwold and Bedale – had £20,000 to award with elected councillors choosing which schemes can be helped.

Another £25,000 from the overall pot has already been allocated to local libraries.

Each scheme had to meet one of the council’s key priorities – supporting economic growth, improving health and wellbeing, improving access to services and supporting a changing population.

“The scheme sees us put this money back into community projects which help improve life in our neighbourhoods,” said council leader Mark Robson.

“Most important of all it must make a difference to people’s lives – whatever the scheme it must show community spirit and improve the environment they live in.

“A small amount of money can make a big difference to communities.”