Detailed applications were then submitted and judged by a panel, made of up of town trust staff and trustees, as well as local businessmen, councillors, the local MP and pupils from two Stratford schools.

The results will be revealed at the Touch FM Pride of Stratford Awards on Friday of next week 7th February. Those selected will share the £1 million, with a minimum of £200,000 per scheme. Or, of course, one exceptional idea could be chosen to get the entire £1 million.

The finalists are:

Stratford Athletics Club —for a new community centre at the athletics track at Stratford School.

Springfield Mind—plans for a 48 hour respite hotel for people with dementia.

Stratford Cycling Club—to build a new cycling facility behind Stratford Leisure Centre.

Stratford Samaritans— for a charities hub, operating from one single point in Stratford and providing a range of support.

Chalk and Cheese—a combined project for a community café/hub, also used by Stratford’s schools to run Young Enterprise initiatives.

Heart of England Mencap (with Stepping Forwards)—a plan to provide a new support service for young people with learning disabilities.

Escape Community Arts —creating a heritage arts centre by converting the old slaughter house in Stratford.

Community Kitchen—plans for a skill sharing community kitchen.

Orchestra of the Swan—adding significant value to Stratford schools’ music provision.

Town trust chief executive Helen Munro said: “What we’re looking for is a project or projects that will be of real benefit to Stratford, with a genuine legacy value.

“The town trust has three key priorities for grant giving; promoting welfare and wellbeing, helping to strengthen communities and providing opportunities for young people.

“We’re looking for an innovative project or projects, something new that will act as a source of inspiration for the future. All of those shortlisted are exciting prospects.”