THE construction of a boardwalk through Prislow Woods in Falmouth has taken a step forward after it was awarded more than £43,000 from a county council green fund.

The installation of the boardwalk is just one of a total of 14 projects aiming to boost greener living around Cornwall that have been given funding from a new Cornwall Council scheme.

The Community Infrastructure Levy Fund, with the aim of handing out grants to projects that supported low-carbon infrastructure, was launched back in the summer by the council.

The award comes after Falmouth Town Council commissioned Simon Penna, its grounds and facilities manager, to come up with a plan to install a boardwalk to bridge the gap between other parts of its 'Falmouth Green Corridor'.

It was proposed to install a formal pedestrian route through Prislow Woods, connecting to the existing public rights of way at Swanvale. At present, the site supports a network of unofficial paths used by pedestrians.

The award comes after The Friends of Tregoniggie Woods, Swanpool Forum and the Prislow Woods group united to form the Falmouth Green Corridor Forum in the hopes of protecting the vital strip of green space in the middle of an ever-growing town. They hope to link several of Falmouth's green spaces to create an unbroken corridor from Bickland Water Road down to Swanpool.

After, what the county council call, a vigorous and competitive application and selection process, the successful projects have been announced and, as well as including £43,276 to Falmouth Town Council for the boardwalk scheme, also includes:

• Chyan Community Trust: £25,000 for a pathway, play trail, signage, multi-use workshop floor area in Mabe

• Our Only World: £67,500 to manufacture and place water bottle refill stations across Cornwall

• South Kerrier Alliance CIC: £32,645 to create a fully accessible walking and cycling route between Porthleven and the existing routes within the Penrose Estate

• Troon Association Football Club: £30,000 for the refurbishment and extension of changing rooms and club house facilities for the club and wider community

• Stithians Energy Group: £42,395 for the installation of solar panels and a storage battery at the Stithians Centre

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Culture, Economy and Planning, said: “When we launched the CIL Fund we wanted to make sure that money went to projects that were based on a low-carbon way of thinking to give their communities a greener future.

“It was incredibly tough to make the decisions, but we believe that the projects we have backed are deliverable and will really enhance the communities in which they are based.

“This fund personifies our commitment to tackling climate change and helping Cornwall work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“The projects that we have selected show the sort of community action that has not only helped us through the pandemic but will ensure greener, brighter, futures for us all.

“Congratulations to all those who have been successful and we look forward to seeing the results.”

Since January 2019 the council has been charging developers the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to reduce any potential adverse effects resulting from new housing and other building projects.

CIL payments are set aside to be spent on infrastructure projects to benefit communities and support development. Between 15 to 25 per cent of the levy goes to the town or parish council where the development has taken place.

Last summer the council made a further £500,000 available to not-for-profit organisations and community groups, including local councils, who could bid for funds to pay for infrastructure projects that encourage greener and healthier lifestyles.

Now the process has been completed, the actual total support provided by the CIL Fund could rise to £622,939, depending on whether some projects secure match-funding from elsewhere.

Applicants needed to show how there was local need and community support for their project, as well as how it will enable lower carbon living as part of the Council’s ambitions for Cornwall to become carbon-neutral by 2030.