A drone image of Kingston bridge

Kingston receives £15,000 Investment for Community Projects

Kingston is seeing a £15,000 investment fund injected into its community projects.

The town’s Business Improvement District ‘Kingston First’ announced its support for three main innovative projects after receiving over 20 funding request applications.

By funding these projects ‘Kingston First’ hopes to attract more visitors to the area.

Director of Communications and Corporate Development at Kingston First, Shareena Merzi said: “We’ve received many outstanding applications to our inaugural Community Fund, highlighting the community’s dedication to supporting the town centre and local businesses.

“The successful projects will enhance Kingston’s reputation as a destination for history and heritage, support the night-time economy workers and visitors, and animate our much-loved riverside.

“I am looking forward to these being delivered over the next few months and growing this project in the future.”

Safety in any community is essential so ‘Kingston First’ is funding a generous £2,950 to support the night-time economy and upgrade Kingston’s community safety. 

The money will provide training for new Street Pastors to govern the streets at night, giving those in the area a greater sense of safety in the darker hours.

Additional volunteers will also be trained to monitor the night-time streets every Saturday.

Co-ordinator of the Street Pastors, Charles Bamford, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to receive support from the Town Centre Community Fund.”

Bamford said the funding would help deploy volunteers in Kingston’s night-time economy who could listen, help and provide support to all town centre users and particularly those vulnerable.

Embroidery lovers will be pleased to know £2,550 will be funded to support its heritage with The Seven Saxon Kings Embroidery Project.

The Seven Saxon Kings Embroidery Project will feature seven newly commissioned embroidery panels depicting the kings believed to have been crowned in Kingston.

The panels are due to be installed in the historic All Saints Church by Summer 2025, commemorating the 1,100th anniversary of King Athelstan’s coronation.

The embroidery project aims to raise awareness of Kingston’s historical significance to promote it as a premier destination for history and heritage.

Kate Shrimpton, Communications Manager at All Saints Church, said: “We are thrilled to be receiving this grant.

“It will help us make a promotional video for our prestigious Saxon Kings Embroidery project.

“We hope this will generate lots of interest and provide yet another reason to visit our amazing town.”

The final £9,500 will be put towards the activation of Kingston Riverside in July with RIVERFEST, a new festival organised by local arts charity Creative Youth.

The vibrant festival will see theatre performances, workshops, music, and visual art installations over 10 days.

Dan Cartlidge, Co-Director of Creative Youth, said: “Creative Youth are excited to begin working on RIVERFEST, having been recipients of the first Kingston First Community Fund.

“Together with local businesses, creative practitioners and young people, we will enliven Kingston’s riverside this summer, as part of the annual FUSE International festival.

“We are delighted to accept Kingston First’s generous support and use this to animate our riverside in a way which benefits the whole community.”

The Kingston First Town Centre Community Fund was created by Kingston First to fund projects and initiatives able to demonstrate a positive impact on the town centre.

The fund is hoped to grow in the years ahead.

Kingston First started in 2005 and ensures Kingston stays a thriving and attractive environment for businesses, but also a vibrant and exciting destination for visitors.

Featured image credit: ‘Kingston First’

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