THOUSANDS of pounds have been granted to community groups to tackle issues in Weymouth and Portland’s four deprived wards.

Four ‘priority’ areas in the borough – Littlemoor, Melcombe Regis, Portland Underhill and Westham – are the focus of the Working with You project.

A total of 23 community groups submitted successful applications for a piece of the £30,000 community grant money, with £16,397.44 being allocated between them in the first round of funding.

Successful groups and council chiefs met at the North Quay offices to celebrate their plans.

The initiative has been made possible due to funding by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Weymouth and Portland Partnership, who both allocated £15,000 to the pot.

The grants will support a range of projects including establishing a new rainbows unit in Underhill, developing a new fitness project for families in Westham, supporting an intergenerational project in Littlemoor and to support four community lunches.

The council wants to work with people in these communities and bring together groups with the aim of tackling crime and health problems and improving the quality of life for residents.

Jane Nicklen, the council’s head of community planning and development, said: “The project is an attempt to encourage community groups to undertake projects to enhance wellbeing and quality in these four priority areas.”

“Many are happening across all four area- and they are honing in on some of the priority needs in these area.

“Sometimes you can achieve a lot more with a lot less money.

The council hasn’t got the funding and this way it is the community doing it for themselves and not being told what they need by an organisation.”

BOROUGH councillor Colin Huckle, spokesman for social inclusion, said: “It is wonderful that the borough council and Weymouth and Portland Partnership have been able to assist these community groups with funding.

“This is an important project for the borough and will help to improve the quality of life of residents in the area.”