MORE than 30 groups will be vying for a share of a £30,000 funding pot tonight (Wednesday) at the eagerly-awaited public Opportunity Chard event.

The voting evening - to be held at the Guildhall in Chard - will include presentations from each of the hopeful groups, giving people the difficult task of deciding which of the community projects are submitted to South Somerset District Council.

Doors open at 6.30pm and the meeting will begin at 7pm. Organisers are hoping for a good turn-out similar to other events held over the last few months in Ilminster and Crewkerne.

The council's community development officer, Fiona Tame, said: "We have an exciting range of projects in this round that will be going head-to-head to the public vote - everything from musical and medical projects, play schemes and sports plans, to summer camps and Christmas festivities.

"These events have been extremely popular over the past year and I hope to see people from the entire Chard area come along to get involved."

Each project was able to apply for up to £5,000 providing its aim was to benefit people living in the local area including Chard Town, Buckland St Mary, Whitestaunton, Wambrook, Knowle St Giles, Chaffcombe, Cricket St Thomas, Winsham, Tatworth, Forton and Combe St Nicholas.

Fiona added: "The voting event will begin with short presentations from the groups showing what their project is all about.

"People will then be able to cast their votes and we will announce the successful projects at the end of the night."

Chairman of the council's Area West committee Cllr Kim Turner said: "This funding will make a real difference to hundreds of people's lives - in the past year we have funded dozens of projects through Oppor-tunity events and I look forward to seeing the positive effects reach yet more of our residents this time around."