COMMUNITIES across Bromsgrove are set to benefit from the New Homes Bonus Scheme.

At the meeting of Bromsgrove Cabinet on September 4 some £74,000 was approved for 21 projects across the district.

Amongst the beneficiaries of the scheme are £7,400 for Avoncroft Cricket Club, £10,000 for Belbroughton Recreation Centre, £7,400 for Bromsgrove Youth and Community Hub which is based at Bromsgrove Baptist Church, and £7,500 for Cofton Hackett Village Hall.

The scheme, which was introduced by central government in 2011, means central government makes payments to councils every time a new home is built in a local area.

The aim was that councils would then pass on some of the money to communities experiencing significant levels of new housing, so facilities could be improved to cater for the increased population.

Initially Bromsgrove District Council did not pass on any money to affected communities, using the money to support the central budget, but in 2014 the council changed its policy to start passing on money to communities after a petition signed by villagers and presented to the council by Hagley Residents Action Group.

Hagley villager Peter Rowbottom, who was the lead petitioner, said: "This is the fifth successive year that communities have benefited from the New Homes Bonus Scheme, and over that period some £450,000 has been passed on to fund local projects."

Bromsgrove Councillor for Hagley West, Steve Colella, said this year’s bids just show how the initiative has benefited the whole of the district."

The cllr added: "It is understood that the Government will be reducing this grant and constraining what council’s can claim. I’m calling on our MP Sajid Javid, also as Chancellor, to reconsider the pending changes and ensure that investment can continue in our local communities through the New Homes Bonus scheme.”