A fund that has helped 60 community groups improve their local areas, including in Reigate, Outwood and Bletchingley, has been given a £500,000 boost.

Surrey County Council has earmarked the cash for the Community Improvements Fund that was launched by leader David Hodge with the aim of supporting residents’ efforts to independently enhance their neighbourhood.

Projects to redevelop the clubhouse at Reigate Priory Cricket Club and Bletchingley Church House are among the schemes to have won cash since the fund’s launch in 2011.

Both were awarded £50,000.

A plan helmed by the Lloyd Hall Management Committee to rebuild the community hall in Outwood, awarded £40,000, and a project from the 17th Reigate Scout Group to build a new scout hall, awarded £47,760, were also among those backed.

Groups will be able to find out about the current bidding criteria, and to apply to the fund, from May, when forms will be available on Surrey County Council’s website.

Coun Hodge said: “All the projects that have won cash so far are fantastic examples of the county council and residents coming together to make Surrey an even better place to live, and that’s why we’re making another £500,000 available.”

He continued: “These are schemes that are making a lasting difference to communities and I would urge other groups looking to independently enhance their neighbourhood to apply for funding when bidding opens in May.

“Whether it’s a project to help young people, a scheme to support the vulnerable or an initiative that improves sporting facilities, they will all have the chance to win cash to improve their local areas. “So keep a look-out for the application form and information about submitting it, and we’ll look forward to receiving bids.”

A county council spokesman said: “Some schemes have to meet conditions, such as winning planning permission, before the money is released.”

For more information visit the county council's website at: www.surreycc.gov.uk