ARTS and sports groups and charities are among those being invited to bid for their share of the £1 million being given away by housebuilder Persimmon Homes South West this year.

Persimmon's 'Building Futures' scheme aims to support community groups working with under-18s across three categories - education and arts, health and sport.

Robert Hart, managing director for the housebuilder, said: “Young people are at the heart of all our futures, and we are fortunate to be able to provide support and help create positive outcomes through our Building Futures campaign.

“We will make donations from £1,000 to £100,000 to grassroots sports groups, charities dealing with physical and mental health issues, as well as community arts and education projects.

“As we are emerging from the global pandemic, we believe that now more than ever we need to look after the health and wellbeing of our communities.

“Persimmon already donates £768,000 each year to good causes through its Community Champions funding programme and, through Building Futures, we are dedicating help exclusively to the younger members of our society.”

He added: “We are looking for groups, charities and individuals who have amazing ideas on how to spend the big cash prizes to come forward.

"We will consider anything - from new clubhouses and kit, to education and arts centres, research and support.”

Building Futures is delivered through the Persimmon Charitable Foundation, in partnership with Team GB - the British Olympic Association - and the company enlisted the help of Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Dani Rowe to launch the scheme.

Rowe said: “This initiative is a superb way of supporting young people across our communities and I would encourage anyone who is eligible to apply for funding.

"These sums of money can be life-changing and could make a real difference to the recipients.”

A total of 128 grants of £1,000 will be awarded across Persimmon’s 32 regional businesses, to improve local facilities and the delivery of vital community projects.

Three initiatives will go on to win £100,000 each through a national online public vote, with the winners named at a grand final in November.

In each of the three categories, as well as the £100,000 first prize, there will be a £50,000 second prize and a £20,000 third prize, while a further 87 shortlisted projects will each receive £5,000.

Applications opened on April 15 and will close at midnight on August 15.

To find out more about Building Futures or to apply, visit the website here.