FOUR community groups in West Somerset are celebrating after receiving money from the Lloyds Bank Community Fund.

More than 2.3 million votes were cast by the public throughout England and Wales during September and October this year for their favourite cause.

Creative Learning in WesterN Somerset (CLOWNS) and Stogumber Festival were each awarded £3,000 while Williton Community hall and Wiveliscombe swimming pool were each awarded £300.

The fund will enable CLOWNS to deliver 24 sessions of physical family fun activities and will offer families the opportunity to participate in a fun, safe and stimulating atmosphere.

Jan Ross, chairman of the children’s charity, said: “We received the most votes out of the four projects which is just wonderful.

We’re so pleased. “It’s difficult when you have to compete with other local voluntary organisations so I feel grateful that so many people voted for us.“

We’ve had huge cuts in our budgets and this money will go towards helping to make up that shortfall.”

The Stogumber Festival was revived earlier this year after 15 years since the last one.

The new annual festival reaches out to the whole community by integrating classical, folk, jazz and acoustic music in a range of ticketed and free events.

The money will be used for a number of things including improving the website, buying amplification equipment and purchasing specially-designed staging to fit around St Mary’s Church where most of the concerts are staged.

Kelvin Hopkins, who looks after the publicity for the festival said: “We are absolutely delighted that we’ve won this money and it will go towards helping us make next year’s festival great.

“We have a fantastic set of volunteers and everything was done on a shoestring budget. This is going to give us great ability to step forward from there.”

Graham Lindsay, group director for responsible business at Lloyds Banking Group said: “Lloyds Bank scaled up the Community Fund considerably in 2013 and in return we have had an incredible response from the public.

“We know that receiving a promotional boost and public support is as important as the financial investment and can have a sustained impact on groups’ engagement with their local community over time.

Congratulations to every community group that took part.”

Lloyds Bank has committed to continue the fund in 2014.