IM Properties (IMP) has launched a £350,000 community fund to help local projects surrounding the new Mercia Park employment scheme.
The Mercia Park Community Fund will be managed by Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation and will typically offer grants of up to £5,000 primarily to projects which strengthen communities or improve the natural environment.
Mercia Park is a high-quality 238-acre employment park being created by IM Properties at Junction 11 of the M42 in northwest Leicestershire. The scheme will include a new 2.94 million sq ft global parts logistics centre for Jaguar Land Rover and a 450,000 sq ft sustainable logistics hub for freight forwarder DSV. It is estimated that over the longer term the employment park will support up to 3,400 jobs.
The £350,000 Community Fund will be split over the three-years while the scheme is being constructed. It is anticipated that grants will be awarded on a six-monthly basis by a panel made up of representatives from the local parish councils, North West Leicestershire District Council, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, IMP and Winvic Construction.
The grants of between £2,000 and £5,000 will be available for 12-month projects and £3,000 grants will be on offer to help existing community projects with their operating costs for up to three years. Larger grants of £10,000 will be available in exceptional circumstances to projects which meet specific criteria.
Applications are now open, and a series of surgeries will be held to help local community groups apply for the funding.
David Smith planning director at IMP said: “As a company, we are committed to a programme of Social Value and delivering both social and economic benefits to the local community. In the current climate, the grants may also offer a welcome boost to local organisations set up to offer support as result of the coronavirus crisis.
“The substantial Community Fund, as well as the creation of a significant number of jobs at Mercia Park, alongside an Employment Scheme will seek to deliver opportunity to individuals and businesses, aiming to leave a lasting legacy for everyone.”
Katy Green, chief executive at Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be working with IM Properties on the Mercia Park Community Fund and hope local community groups will take the opportunity to apply for a share of the £350,000 available. Full details of the criteria and how to apply for the first round of grants can be found on our website.”
A separate community fund launched by IMP ahead of its development of its Peddimore manufacturing and logistics park in Birmingham has already helped 14 projects in its first year. Since January 2019, local groups have benefited from grants totalling around £24,000. The Peddimore Community Fund is giving away a total of £270,000 to projects over six years as part of an extensive Social Value programme.
For more information about the Mercia Park Community Fund, or to apply, please visit www.llrcommunityfoundation.org.uk/apply-for-funds/