HAGLEY community groups are hoping to benefit from the latest New Homes Bonus funding allocations.

Councillors agreed to make £79,000 available for community groups across the district, under the New Homes Bonus Scheme, at a recent meeting of Bromsgrove District Council.

The NHB Scheme was introduced nationally in 2011 and meant central government would pay local authorities a bonus payment when new homes were built in the council's area to be awarded to community groups to improve facilities in areas affected by new housing.

Bromsgrove District Council agreed to pass on the money generated after a 1,429-name petition was gathered by Hagley Residents Action Group in 2014 and since then £370,000 has been allocated to communities across the district.

To date Hagley has received NHB money for improvements to Hagley Cricket Club, a minibus for Hagley Rambler Scouts Group, to go towards the new pavilion in the playing fields, for new sports equipment at Haybridge Sports Centre and for a multi sports outdoor court at Hagley Primary School for wider community use.

Peter Rowbottom, of Hagley Residents Action Group, said: "This is the fourth year in succession that Hagley and other areas across the district have an opportunity to directly benefit from the New Homes Bonus Scheme.

"I would like to thank Bromsgrove Council for making £79,000 available to community groups this year, though this is significantly reduced from last year's £169,000 which itself was oversubscribed twice over in terms of bids.

"I would encourage community groups to come forward and make bids for the money to improve local facilities when the bidding process opens later in the year."

Action group member Fran Evans, also of Hagley Community Association which is pushing forward plans to rebuild Hagley Community Centre, said the New Homes Bonus funds had "given lots of community groups the boost they need to keep going and update their facilities".

She added: "We hope Hagley Community Association will be in a position to put together a financial plan for the new community centre soon so we can apply for some of this funding before it gets squeezed even further.

"The community centre is an ideal project to attract funding as it benefits such a large cross sector of the community and provides a home for all kinds of groups and age ranges for the local community."

The timetable for bids and details of how they can be submitted will be available on the Bromsgrove District Council's website www.bromsgrove.gov.uk from April.