ONE million pounds has been put towards 26 local improvement projects in the New Forest.

The investment from New Forest District Council (NFDC) will help to benefit a number of community groups, art studios and Changing Place facilities.

 The £1 million investment comes from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and will be put towards 26 local improvement projects. 

CIL is paid directly by developers and applies to new homes granted permission across the district.    

Cllr Derek Tipp, portfolio holder for planning and economy, said: "This funding is vital for so many excellent community projects to go ahead.

"There was such a range of organisations across the New Forest who applied, and this support will give each of them a boost."

The Avon Valley Shed, a Men's Shed community group in Fordingbridge, was given £32,000 from CIL funding.  

Gary Knight, Chairman of the Avon Valley Shed, said: "The grant will be instrumental in the self-build of our new meeting place in Fordingbridge.

"This facility will help to build community, friendship, and support for those who need it most. This funding will help us to combat loneliness, particularly among men, in Fordingbridge and its surrounding areas."

Residents can find more information about the CIL funding on the NFDC website.