FIRST World War commemorations and community projects in Knutsford the surrounding area will receive a boost to the tune of £80,000 thanks to Cheshire East Council.

The borough council is to provide an extra £30,000 to fund First World War commemorations and a further £50,000 to boost community grants for local projects.

It comes after a management of budgets identified a one-off extra pot of cash from reserves.

Clr David Brown, deputy leader of CEC, said: “This is brilliant news and should give a real boost to communities across Cheshire East – and in particular for events to commemorate the First World War, as we approach the centenary of the outbreak of that cataclysmic conflict in August 1914.

“I am delighted that this council has been able to substantially increase the pot for community grants and find another £30,000 for commemoration events on top of the £100,000 already committed to fund repairs and refurbishment of our important local community monuments to our war dead.”

Parish and town councils can now apply for a slice of the First World War commemoration events fund.

The upper limits on general community grants are also set to increase, as a one-off for 2014/2015, to up to £1,000 for events and activities and up to £5,000 for facilities. Previously, the limits were £250 for events, £500 for activities and £3,000 for facilities.

The council is urging community groups to apply for the increased grants in the next round of applications – which has a deadline of June 27. Further rounds of grants will also be held in September and December.

“I would urge groups and local councils to put in grant applications as soon as possible to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity,” added Clr Brown.

For more information about the grant funding, email or contact Tina Jones on 01270 685811.