Clare country park awarded thousands of pounds in grant funding

Clare Castle Country Park board of trustees: Gary Brown, Charmain Hawkins, Derek Blake, Richard Smith, Sharon Benson, Geoffrey Bray, Keith Mison and Kate Terry

Clare Castle Country Park board of trustees: Gary Brown, Charmain Hawkins, Derek Blake, Richard Smith, Sharon Benson, Geoffrey Bray, Keith Mison and Kate Terry

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Trustees of Clare Castle Country Park have been awarded grants totalling nearly £27,000.

The money has been sourced from a range of commercial and public sector organisations but Tesco’s ‘Bags of Help’ programme, which saw the park receive a £10,000 grant after being selected as one of three East of England finalists, has been named as a major success.

The ‘Bags of Help’ funding will be used to clear the sides of the moat to improve the ecology and to ensure the castle remains come into full view while grants from the county council for £3,500 and Suffolk Community Foundation for £5,000 will be used to provide equipment for volunteers and signage to promote the great walks around Clare.

Geoffrey Bray, chair of trustees, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in a wide range of applications for grant funding. Our vision is to provide recreational facilities for peaceful enjoyment while at the same time sustaining the heritage and flora and fauna of the park. These successes demonstrate that our vision for the park matches very closely the objectives of many community grant-giving organisations.”

Following last year’s transfer of the park’s ownership from Suffolk County Council to Clare Town Council, the trust managing the park set out its ambitions in a four year plan.

While its day-to-day expenses can be covered from building rents and car park income, any major projects require separate fund-raising.

Mr Bray added: “These grants thoroughly endorse our plans and the excellent work being done by our large volunteer group. We’ve now got the funding for a number of projects and can continue to develop the park into a superb destination for both residents and visitors.”