SOUTH Lakeland District Council is set to approve grants totalling almost £80,000.

The money, funded from the government's New Homes Bonus, will be used for projects identified by organisations across the district.

Projects chosen for support include improving footpaths, renovating buildings, and enhancing play areas.

Coun Jonathan Brook, SLDC portfolio holder for strategic growth, said: “This is a great opportunity to support communities across South Lakeland in a way which has a direct impact on people’s lives.”

Coun Graham Vincent, SLDC portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, added: “The projects have been earmarked by the residents themselves and will help improve the health and wellbeing of the community.”

The full list is:

* Hallgarth Community Centre: £26,600 to help create a play area Skelsmergh and Scalthwaiterigg Parish Council: £21,000 to extend the A6 footpath-cycleway.

* Holme Village Hall: £10,000 to redevelop the village hall

* Casterton Parish Council: £11,526 to transform a bridleway between Casterton and Kirkby Lonsdale

* Burton-in-Kendal Parish Council: £5,850 to help plan a new footway between Burton and Clawthorpe

* The Bryce Institute, Burneside: £3,500 to repair the Bryce Institute Tower

* Coniston Parish Council: £1,500 to repair kerbs to improve access for mobility vehicles

Under the New Homes Bonus, the government matches additional council tax raised on new properties and those which have been brought back into use, with an additional £350 for each affordable home.

Councils can to spend the bonus in line with community wishes. SLDC has agreed to allocate 40 per cent of the funds to Locally Important Projects and 60 per cent to affordable housing and neighbourhood planning.

The biggest grant will help restore Kendal’s Hallgarth play area that has been lying derelict for 18 months after insurers said the equipment was unsafe, apart from a swing. District councillor Rob Boden, who represents Hallgarth, set a target of raising £80,000 to rebuild the play area following consultation with parents and young people on the estate.

“This is great news,” he said. “Hallgarth has a high number of children and families with little spare cash to buy their own play equipment.”