CASH grants are up for grabs to help improve the health, environment and community of two areas in Halton.

The wards of Mersey in Runcorn and Appleton in Widnes have been identified by the Government as two of 600 deprived areas in Britain to receive Community First funding.

Clr Phil Harris, board member for neighbourhoods, said: “This will help local groups and hopefully have a lasting impact.”

Residents are encouraged to give time, expertise and resources towards the projects they identify in their areas.

It is a matched fund programme, which means that every £1 provided, a similar amount or donations of cash, services, free products or volunteer time must be found.

Anyone can apply and there is a maximum of £2,500 per application.

A Community First panel, made up of local people, has been set up in Mersey and Appleton.

Each Panel has been allocated funding totalling £33,910 for the four year period of the programme and has identified key priorities for each Ward.

For more details, contact Gill Watson, Halton Council’s community development officer for Mersey on 0151 511 8834 or Adele Clarke, community development officer for Appleton on 0151 511 7870.