COMMUNITY groups have been handed thousands of pounds from a charitable fund set up as part of the new Earls Hall wind farm development between Clacton and St Osyth.

The groups have become the first to feel the benefit of a special of the fund, which was launched last year to give long-term support to community organisations and near the turbines.

Now the Earls Hall Farm Community Benefit Fund, managed by independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation, has handed out £12,500 in the first round of grants.

It included £2,911 going to St Osyth Village Hall to replace damaged flooring in the annex and store rooms.

The fund has also seen £2,891 put towards the refurbishment of the St Osyth Pavilion, £2,500 to help provide extra toilets for St Osyth Pre-School, £1,050 for St Osyth Youth Group to pay towards hall hire and the 5th Clacton Scout Group has received £960 towards the cost of a new session for beavers and cubs.

The newly established Great Estate of Bockings Elm Residents’ Association was granted £2,500 to fund events such as bingo and coffee mornings.

• Groups in the wards of St Osyth, St Osyth heath, Bockings Elm and Little Clacton can apply for a grant by calling 01245 356018.