A MILFORD community minibus now looks set to be in service in the new year after the parish council agreed a £750 grant to complete the £9,000 fundraising drive.
The Milford Charitable Trust aims to buy an eight-seat vehicle which will be available for local groups and clubs to hire on a regular or one-off basis.
Speaking at a recent parish council meeting, Milford Charitable Trust chairman Jenny Whitley said the project was now “a long way down the road” after a successful fundraising event at the South Lawns Hotel had swelled the project funds to £7,000.
It previously received a £4,000 donation from the Arts and Music Festival Committee, and other amounts were donated by local organisations and individuals.
Once operational, bus passengers will be asked to pay a small donation for the use of the minibus to cover the ongoing costs.
The minibus will be available for anyone to use, and so far Milford Primary School, Milford Conservation Volunteers, the WI, the U3A and the Bridge Club have all expressed an interest.
The Milford Charitable Trust is an umbrella charity which provides funding and support for groups and individuals that want to improve the quality of life of residents in and around the villages of Milford, Keyhaven and Everton.
The parish council heard that the charity will be assisted by Everton Hyundai in sourcing the second-hand vehicle with the garage also offering a deal for cut-price servicing and check-ups.
South Lawns Hotel will help cover the cost of insurance as part of a sponsorship deal that will see lunchtime diners picked up and dropped off in Milford village centre.
Mrs Whitley said the minibus could also benefit those living in the rural outskirts of the village who could be transport into the centre for shopping and to use community facilities.
She revealed that once up and running the project could apply for Lottery funding to purchase an electric vehicle.