A bright future in store as park bags cash boost

Coun Tony Williams
Coun Tony Williams
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Supermarket shopping bags are set to pay for thousands of pounds of improvements to a Blackpool park

The Friends of East Pines Park group has bagged £8,000 from a Tesco funding scheme which will kick-start a major revamp of the Anchorsholme space.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch the second round of its Bags of Help funding initiative.

It has been handing out grants of up to £12,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy.

Shoppers voted in stores for the projects they wanted to support and East Pines Park was one of the projects chosen to receive cash.

Work is now set to begin on the regeneration of the Luton Road park.

Coun Tony Williams, who represents Anchorsholme, said “I’m absolutely delighted the hardwork of the Friends of East Pines Park, together with my colleague Coun [Paul] Galley, has been rewarded with this grant and I know it will help transform our local Park and the wider community. Thank you to everyone who voted for this project.”

Lindsey Crompton, head of community at Tesco, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success.

“We been overwhelmed by the response of our customers and it’s been great to give people a say on how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Voting ran in stores from October 31 to November 13 – with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out in store.

Tesco estimates that around six million votes were cast in stores up and down the UK.

Since launching in 2015, Bags of Help has awarded more than £24m across 2,421 local projects.

And other groups from across the Fylde coast are being encouraged to apply for cash.

Groundwork’s national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “This is just the beginning for Bags of Help and we’re really excited about the future. The scheme will be permanently open for applications, and as grants can now be used for not just the development of, but also for the use of local outdoor spaces, we expect even more groups will now have the chance to benefit.

“It’s projects like these that really help to capture the public’s imagination.”