FOUR Oxford projects have been given a cash boost thanks to a university fund.

Oxford University launched the pilot Community Fund project this year to give grants to community projects based in Oxfordshire.

The Osney Lock Hydro scheme, Alice’s Day 2014, Oxfordshire Play Association and Cowley News were selected to receive grants in the second round of funding.

Alice’s Day 2014, which is co-ordinated by the Story Museum in Pembroke Street, is to receive £2,000 towards the cost of its schools workshops.

The event celebrates Oxford’s reputation as a world centre of books and literature and takes place on July 5.

The Story Museum’s marketing and communications officer Alex Coke said: “Thanks to support from the Community Fund, more than 200 Oxford primary school children will be breaking codes and meeting the Mad Hatter as part of the education work for Alice’s Day.

“We are delighted to have the chance to connect Oxford’s young people with their literary heritage.”

The Osney Lock Hydro group will receive £2,500 towards the development of the community-owned scheme, which aims to generate around 186,000 kWh of clean, green electricity each year.

Group director Saskya Huggins said: “We are thrilled to have received a grant from the Oxford University Community Fund.

“Osney Lock Hydro has been set up by a group of local residents to enable the development of a community-owned hydro scheme in the heart of Oxford.

“As well as generating renewable energy, the project offers a platform from which we can tell the story of our river.

“Thanks to the support of the Community Fund, people will be able to learn about our community’s centuries-old relationship with the Thames and be inspired by the potential for a sustainable future.”

Oxfordshire Play Association’s Playful Woodlands project will receive £1,500 towards a new “natural play” area to be created next to the South Oxford Adventure Playground site off Whitehouse Road.

Manager Martin Gillett said: “We want to encourage children and young people to play outside in natural settings, which will develop their health, wellbeing and life skills while also opening their eyes to the amazing world of Mother Nature and the environment.”

Community news project Cowley News also received £2,000.

Michael Sibly, deputy registrar of the university and chair of the community fund management group, said: “Oxford University plays an enormous part in the life of this city and region, and we want to help support some of the tremendous community activity that goes on.

“The pilot scheme is proving very successful, and we are delighted to be able to support another excellent group of projects in this round of funding.”

Projects which received funding earlier this year include Oxford Open Doors, Christmas Light Night, Pegasus Theatre and the Cowley Road Carnival.

  • Applications from community groups are considered three times a year – for more information, visit