Over £3.5m support for Midlands communities, as Severn Trent releases its first Community Fund Annual Review

Thursday 6th May 2021

Severn Trent has supported over 400 non-profit organisations across the Midlands with more than £3.5m funding for the community over the last 12 months.

To celebrate awarding its first grant in April 2020, it has today released its first Annual Community Fund Review that showcases the communities supported over the year.

More than £1.5m has been awarded through the Severn Trent Community Fund alone to projects boosting wellbeing, as well an additional £1m donated through its Emergency Coronavirus Fund to help communities deal with the impact of the pandemic. 

Severn Trent also donated a further £1m to charitable causes across the region last summer too, after it challenged customers to save water to raise money for charity.

Liv Garfield, Severn Trent Chief Executive said: “Being there for our customers and communities this year has been important as ever. That’s why I’m delighted to be able to share our first Community Fund review to showcase the fantastic projects, schemes and charities that do incredible things in our communities that we’ve been so proud to support.

“Our communities really are at the heart of what we do, and we created the Community Fund so we can help make a genuine difference to them. There’s so many absolutely amazing organisations that have ideas for projects that benefit our communities, and those living in them that just needed some extra support, and that’s where we’ve been able to help.”

The review of year showcases the 93 projects, chosen by its customers, that have been supported through the core Community Fund. The projects are set to boost the wellbeing of more than 580,000 beneficiaries, create or enhance over 90 community spaces, and improve or create better access to more than 168 acres of environment. 

Two of the biggest projects awarded this year through the fund were to the National Space Centre in Leicester to create a brand new exhibition space benefiting more than 250,000 Severn Trent customers, and to Historic Coventry Trust for their project to transform a large section of Coventry’s derelict former railway ‘Loop Line’ into a walking and cycling route for the community.

Chas Bishop, Chief Executive at the National Space Centre that received £249,860 said, “These have been really difficult times for so many people, but working with the Severn Trent team on such an exciting project gives us plenty to look forward to when we can reopen the doors.  It is great to work with a partner who feels as passionately about the science behind their work as we do, as well as understanding the positive difference their funding can make to support the people living and working within their communities.”

Graham Tait, assistant director at the Historic Coventry Trust that received £198,460, said: “We are really grateful for Severn Trent’s support which allows us to open up a major part of the former railway for public access. It really is a magical place, a stretch of countryside woodland right in the heart of the city.”

The new Annual Review revealed today also shares details of the additional 300+ local causes that Severn Trent have supported with their £1m Emergency Fund, which launched last April to help communities deal with the impact of COVID-19 and aid their recovery. 

Over the last year, the Community Fund and £1m Emergency Coronavirus Fund combined has awarded:

· Central Midlands: £279,126 to 77 organisations;

· Derbyshire: £248,048 to 55 organisations;

· Gloucester: £166,129 to 26 organisations;

· Leicestershire: £559,430 to 48 organisations;

· Nottinghamshire: £276,766 to 57 organisations; 

· Shropshire: £132,455 to 34 organisations;

· Staffordshire: £262,961 to 50 organisations;

 · Warwickshire: £423,823 to 51 organisations;

 · Worcestershire: £116,230 to 29 organisations.

Through the £1m water saving charity challenge, the company donated a further £1m to five region-wide causes supporting the most vulnerable of communities – Barnardo’s, Macmillan, Crisis and local branches at Age UK and Mind – to say thanks to their customers for saving water during the hot weather last summer. 

Liv added: “We know that especially over the last year, our communities have really needed a helping hand. Whether it’s been through our Community Fund, or coronavirus support, we really are proud to have made a difference. We’re looking forward to providing even more support in our second year to incredible projects that will improve people’s lives, benefit our environments and help people reconnect with nature.”

The Severn Trent Community Fund is overseen by an independent Panel, made up of Severn Trent customers, who review applications and who decide where the money goes. From 2020 it is committed to awarding more than £10m over 5 years to support local charity and community groups to help support projects and ideas that improve wellbeing across three key themes – People, Place and Environment.

To read the review and find out more about projects local your area, view it online here.