How community groups in Beccles can grab share of £10,000

Graham Catchpole, Jonathan Blankley and Brian Wisker at Clowes Court in Beccles.

Graham Catchpole, right, chair of the Waveney and Yare Housing Association grants committee, with secretary Jonathan Blankley, left, and committee member Brian Wisker at Clowes Court in Beccles. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Community groups in Beccles have been handed a major boost in their post-Covid recovery.

The Waveney and Yare Housing Association (WYHA) has created a Community Grant Fund of £10,000 specifically for local groups in the town.

It comes after the association gave a grant of £1,000 to the Beccles Citizen Advice Office last year.

Graham Catchpole, Jonathan Blankley, and Brian Wisker, at Clowes Court in Beccles.

Graham Catchpole, right, chairman of the Waveney and Yare Housing Association grants committee, with secretary Jonathan Blankley, left, and committtee member Brian Wisker, at Clowes Court in Beccles. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A grants committee has now been established to administer the fund, consisting of four directors and led by town councillor and former mayor Graham Catchpole.

He said: "We are all long-standing residents of Beccles and know the town and its organisations very well.


You may also want to watch:


"We hope to help as many community groups as possible and will not be granting large amounts to any individual organisation."

Clowes Court, in Beccles.

Clowes Court, in Beccles. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Before becoming an independent housing association, the WYHA was part of the William Clowes and Sons business.

Most Read

To meet the printing company's rapid post-war expansion and increased staff demand, they began building houses around the town, starting with 36 homes in Merrylees.

Forbes Drive followed, as well as Duke Street and Queen Elizabeth Drive, then Fairfax Court and Cromwell Avenue.

Clowes Court in Beccles.

Clowes Court in Beccles. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

In 2001, Clowes Court bungalows were built offering smaller homes for retired residents. 

At its peak, the company employed 1,400 people at their town centre site, where the town's Tesco Superstore stands today. 

David Browne, chair of the association, said: "We thought it was a good time to put something back into the town, and continue, in a small way, the major contribution that the William Clowes Printing Company made to Beccles over many decades."

Clowes Court in Beccles.

Clowes Court in Beccles. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The Clowes family owned both the printing company and the housing association and established the latter in May 1961 as the Clowes Yare Housing Society, before changing their name in 1975.

Over time, applications for housing were accepted for local people without a connection to the printing company, with the final links to the business removed in 2016.

Applications for a share of the funding grant are restricted to Beccles-based groups only.

To apply, email cosec@wyha.co.uk, or write to WYHA, Goal Lane, Beccles, NR34 9SJ.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter