A WORCESTER community group has been awarded nearly £10,000 of lottery funding.

The Arboretum Residents Association (ARA) has been handed the funding by the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All project.

The cash will be used for the Arboretum Community Engagement (ACE) project – an ambitious scheme to increase links between people in the neighbourhood through consultation on what their main areas of concern are, a parents and children’s fun day and a new website.

ARA chairman Brendan Magill said he was pleased the group had been awarded the cash.

“The Arboretum in the centre of Worcester and used to be a working class area but has now evolved into a diverse community with people from various ethnic groups, children, students and older people,” he said. “The area is a mixed and vibrant place to live.

“The area is already famed in the city for its help-your- neighbour mentality and community spirit.

“However, we want this spirit to grow by encouraging the community to eat together, play together and learn about each other’s cultures.

“At the same time we want the Arboretum people to have their say on how the community develops, to influence decisions on issues such as parking permits or property development.”

The organisation is putting together its plans for its future work and is appealing for internet experts and web designers to come forward to design the project’s new website. Anyone interested can email ivanjgsmith@hotmail.co.uk by 9am on Thursday, May 22.

The committee’s next meeting will be held at the Baptist Church Hall in Sansome Walk from 7.30pm on Tuesday, May 20. All residents of the area are welcome.

For more information on the ARA visit www.thearboretum.org.uk.