MORE than £844,000 was awarded by the council to villages across Wychavon for new village halls and play areas as part of a legacy project.

The cash, taken from a £1 million council fund, means numerous parish councils can now make improvements to village halls, build play areas and new pavilions for playing fields.

The grant money includes £150,000 for a new village hall in Honeybourne, £125,000 for refurbishments to Kemerton village hall and £100,000 for village hall refurbishments in Pebworth.

Wychavon District Council has also handed £36,500 to Fladbury Parish Council for broadband improvements at the village hall, £25,000 for a new pavilion on a playing field in Hanbury and £81,300 was given to Peopleton Parish Council for a new play area.

Rous Lench Parish Council was granted £26,800 to carry out refurbishments to the village hall.

The biggest grant was £300,000 and was awarded to Whittington Parish Council for a new village hall.

The first round of grant applications was backed by Wychavon District Council's executive board at a meeting last Wednesday (March 20).

The money, part of Wychavon District Council's community legacy grant scheme, is awarded to "innovative and ambitious" projects which create a "significant community legacy."

Councillor Bradley Thomas, leader of the district council, said: "This scale of funding is something that is almost unheard of in local government.

"It is really something that will make a tangible difference to communities and this council should be commended for spending this level of money on strengthening our communities."

A project by North and Middle Littleton Parish Council to extend Littleton village hall was rejected by the district council as the application did contain enough detail or extensive enough consultation.

Money for Droitwich Spa Town Council for the Mayflower 400 project and work to Droitwich Spa Heritage Centre and Museum was also rejected as the application also lacked detail.

A project to improve South Littleton village was also rejected.

All of the parish councils have been invited to apply for the second round of grants whereby another £1 million will be offered next year by the district council for projects.