Scotter Celebrates Opening of New Play Area

A much-anticipated children’s play facility in Scotter is now ready for action with its official opening ceremony held on 19 July 2021, just in time for the school summer holidays to start. 

Scotter War Memorial Playing Fields Committee secured £125,000 towards a desperately needed brand new play area for the children of the parish- including £70,000 from Biffa Award. as part of the Landfill Communities Fund.

It has come after years of community events, fundraising and volunteering to work out what the children of the parish would like and how much it would cost.  Many of the children who will benefit from the equipment attend the school next to the park.  They have seen the transformation over the recent months, with the removal of the tired, old equipment and the installation of the new equipment including a new toddler and junior children’s play area and a fantastic double zip line for older children.

Martin Ely, project lead said, “It’s great to see all our hard work come to fruition and to see the children enjoying themselves.  There were some additional challenges along the way – like Brexit and Covid – but we got there!  I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the people and organisations that have helped out – without their support this would not have happened and now we have a great facility in the village that’s been built to last for many years.”

Children from Scotter Pre-school, Liz Parkin Childcare and Scotter Primary School helped officially open the new play area .

Ewan, 11: “My favourite bit is the climbing frame, it’s got lots of things to do on it, I really like the monkey bars.”

Toby, 11: “It’s way better than the last play area, there are a lot more things, it’s lots of fun!

Millie, 11: “I like the bucket swing because it goes higher than the other ones! The new area is better designed as it’s not as cramped as the old one.”

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager, added: “At Biffa Award we love supporting projects which enhance recreation facilities for children and young people, such as the transformation of this play area in Scotter. It is great to see the difference that funding has made.”

Conservation workshop at Aerospace Bristol opened by Royal visitor

The ceremonial opening of Aerospace Bristol’s  new Conservation in Action Workshop marks the completion of the 106-year-old hangar’s restoration, with museum staff and volunteers now preparing the new workshop to welcome visitors in August.

On July 15, 2021, HRH The Princess Royal visited Aerospace Bristol as the museum’s Patron and formally opened the new Conservation in Action Workshop. Biffa Award Grants Manager Rachel Maidment and board member Simon Rutledge were also in attendance.


Situated in a restored Grade II listed WWI aircraft hangar, built around 1915, the latest addition to Aerospace Bristol will allow visitors to get up-close to conservation projects – including the Bristol Freighter, Fighter and Bolingbroke – and watch as volunteers work on historic Bristol aircraft.

The project was made possible thanks to a £547,277  Biffa Award Partnership Grant through its Built Environment theme.

Visitors to the workshop will discover tools and techniques used to manufacture aircraft and get a glimpse into life inside early aircraft factories. As part of the formal opening occasion, HRH The Princess Royal stamped a clocking-in card using one of the factory time clocks, which Filton’s aircraft factory workers would have used to mark the start and end of their daily shifts.

After becoming the first person to clock-in to the new workshop, The Princess Royal was escorted on a tour by the museum’s Chair, Professor Iain Gray, who introduced Her Royal Highness to supporters, donors, conservation volunteers and members of staff. The tour included conservation projects, archive materials relating to the hangar and the history of aerospace engineering in the region, and a demonstration of the English Wheel metalworking tool.

Professor Gray said: “I am most grateful to Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of Aerospace Bristol, for so kindly accepting our invitation to formally open Aerospace Bristol’s exciting new Conservation in Action Workshop. This wonderful new space will not only allow our fantastic team of volunteers to undertake crucial restoration work, and share their valuable knowledge and expertise with visitors, it will also enable the museum to further enhance our award-winning learning programme, providing new learning opportunities and invaluable hands-on experience to the next generation of engineering talent.”

Rachel Maidment added: “Biffa Award is delighted to see this special project come to fruition. Since awarding funding to Aerospace Bristol through our Partnership Grants Scheme in 2018, we’ve seen this historic hangar transformed from a deteriorating, unused structure into the fit-for-purpose workshop we see today. It’s exciting to think that young people, community groups and visitors will soon have access to new learning activities, be able to engage with local heritage and even get hands-on with conservation projects, while benefitting from the expert knowledge and vital heritage skills of Aerospace Bristol’s volunteer team. It was a pleasure to be among the first visitors to see this fantastic facility in all its glory.”

Before departing the museum, Her Royal Highness spoke to the volunteers, donors and museum staff who made the new workshop possible and unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion. The plaque will be displayed on a historic time clock at the entrance to the Conservation Workshop, alongside similar clocks sponsored by museum supporters.

New kitchen for much loved memorial hall

The Thurston Village Hall Management Committee are delighted to announce that the charity has been granted a £20,000 award from Biffa Award, a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to communities and environmental projects across the UK.

The Thurston Village Hall (known as the Cavendish Hall) was built in 1914 as a memorial to Tyrell Cavendish who lost his life on the Titanic. This much loved hall was extended in 2002 but nearly 20 years on the kitchen is very tired and out of date.

Thanks to Biffa Award and support from County Councillor Penny Otton, and following a challenging year for all community buildings, a new kitchen is to be installed over the summer, providing much improved, up-to-date facilities for the benefit of both regular and one-off hirers in the rapidly growing village community.

Villagers, old and new, will be able to see the kitchen “in action” during the Thurston Big Weekend in September when the WI and the Cavendish Hall will join forces to provide refreshments.

Ian Turner, Management Committee Chairman and Trustee:

“All the dedication & hard work from our committee to secure this grant during the Covid 19 lockdown will enable us to provide much improved facilities for the benefit of the wider community.”

Vicky Pryke, WI President and Hall Trustee:

“The Thurston WI are thrilled with the grant awarded for the new kitchen refurbishment from the Biffa Award, supported by a Locality award from Suffolk County Council. Cavendish Hall has a lovely atmosphere and, with an up to date kitchen, the facilities will be welcomed by the whole community.”

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager:

“It is so important that we continue to invest in buildings which are at the heart of their communities. This project at Thurston Village Hall is a great example of how Biffa Award funding can help to ensure our community buildings are equipped with modern facilities that will remain fit for purpose for years to come.  We can’t wait to see the results.”