MORE than £50,000 has been awarded to a Stourbridge project that has been slowly but surely helping to breathe new life into an overgrown site by the River Stour and town canal.

Severn Trent has awarded £51,934 to Riverside House CIC towards its ongoing development of a derelict 19th century ironworks site into a place that aims to inspire wellbeing and improve biodiversity.

The project will also create a unique wetland ecosystem treatment area to purify greywater for other uses.

Clare Evans, from Riverside House, said: "Riverside House are thrilled to have been granted funds to develop a grey-water management wetland area that will greatly improve biodiversity on this special site.

"The funding will get us another step towards welcoming in the general public, with all ability access routes and fencing, allowing the community safe access to view the River Stour and the beauty of the Riverside House site.

"We couldn’t have done this without the support of Severn Trent Community Fund. We are so excited to get started and see the progress over the coming months.”

The Riverside House project aims to transform the site, which sits between Lion Health GP surgery and the Stourbridge Canal, while offering people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and those looking for volunteering opportunities the chance to learn and develop practical skills.

The goal over the next few years is to turn the site into a heritage centre with gardens, restaurant, craft shop, woodland and workshops and to make it a place where people feel included and bespoke opportunities are provided.

Jade Gough from Severn Trent said: “This is an absolutely fantastic project from Riverside House, that we’re really excited to be supporting.

“It features plenty of our values, from sustainability, wellbeing, biodiversity and the environment, so it really is a project that we’re excited to see take off. "The huge benefits it will bring, will not only see big enhancements to the local environment, but also will be a place where local communities can come to enjoy nature, that’s unique and accessible for all. Making for a truly wonderful visit.

"We know this project will make a huge impact to those who love and know the estate that’s embedded with such rich history and ties to the local community.”

The Severn Trent Community Fund is giving away more than £10m over five years, to support charity and community groups with projects aimed to boost wellbeing, and improving the local environment.

Over the last year, it has awarded more than £1.5m to 93 charity and community projects across the Midlands.

The fund is overseen by an independent panel, made up of Severn Trent customers, who review applications and who decide where the money goes.