Alice's Day
Alice's Day has received a grant from the Oxford University Community Fund.
Credit: Marc West

'Tremendous' community projects receive University funding

Local projects have received a boost thanks to Oxford University's Community Fund.

Launched this year as a small pilot initiative, the Community Fund considers applications for funding from Oxfordshire-based community projects.

The Osney Lock Hydro scheme, Alice's Day 2014, Oxfordshire Play Association and Cowley News have all been selected to receive grants in the second round of funding.

Michael Sibly, Deputy Registrar of the University and chair of the Community Fund Management Group, said: 'Oxford University plays an enormous part in the life of this city and region, and we want to help support some of the tremendous community activity that goes on.

'The pilot scheme is proving very successful, and we are delighted to be able to support another excellent group of projects in this round of funding.'

The Osney Lock Hydro group will receive £2,500 towards the development of the community-owned scheme, which aims to generate around 186,000 kWh of clean, green electricity each year.

Saskya Huggins, Director of Osney Lock Hydro, said: 'We are thrilled to have received a grant from the Oxford University Community Fund. Osney Lock Hydro has been set up by a group of local residents to enable the development of a community-owned hydro scheme in the heart of Oxford. As well as generating renewable energy, the project offers a platform from which we can tell the story of our river. Thanks to the support of the Community Fund, people will be able to learn about our community's centuries-old relationship with the Thames and be inspired by the potential for a sustainable future.'

Alice's Day 2014, co-ordinated by the Story Museum, is to receive £2,000 towards the cost of its schools workshops. The event celebrates Oxford's reputation as a world centre of books and literature.

Alex Coke, Marketing and Communications Officer at the Story Museum, said: 'Thanks to support from the Community Fund, over 200 Oxford primary school children will be breaking codes and meeting the Mad Hatter as part of the education work for Alice's Day. We are delighted to have the chance to connect Oxford's young people with their literary heritage.'

Martin Gillett, Manager of the Oxfordshire Play Association, whose Playful Woodlands project will receive £1,500 towards a new 'natural play' environment next to the South Oxford Adventure Playground, said: 'Oxfordshire Play Association is very grateful to the University of Oxford's Community Fund for supporting our Playful Woodlands project. We want to encourage children and young people to play outside in natural settings, which will develop their health, wellbeing and life skills while also opening their eyes to the amazing world of mother nature and the environment.'

Other local projects to have received funding from Oxford University recently include Oxford Open Doors, Christmas Light Night, Pegasus Theatre and Cowley Road Carnival.

Applications from community groups for funding will be considered on a 'gathered field' basis three times a year.