Tough times for grant funding

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TIGHT controls are being maintained on council funding for charities and other organisations as the impact of Government funding cuts begins to bite.

This week, St Edmundsbury borough councillors have recommended to Cabinet that funding continues for the Theatre Royal and Smiths Row art gallery but some organisations will not receive the full amount they had applied for

Smiths Row should receive a two-year funding agreement at £36,300 a year, having lost its Arts Council funding earlier this year, and the Theatre Royal should receive £75,000 for each of the next two years. It had a reduction in its Arts Council funding.

St Nicholas Hospice Care, which needs £3.6 million in public donations to run each year, had asked for £5,000 specifically to educate and support local partners and seek referrals from new groups. Councillors suggested a sum of £2,500, although originally there had been no money allocated.

Citizens Advice in Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall and Brandon will share a grant of £181,000 – no change despite a request for £186,00 – Gatehouse Funiture Recycling which provides home furnishings to disadvantaged families, is set to receive £4,000 a year over the next four years, although a request had been made for £10,000 for next year.

Grants to the YMCA and Norfolk and Suffolk Relate have been held at their current rate of £5,000 a year and Optua £1,000 a year – all over a four- year period of funding.

A new funding agreement for the West Suffolk SOS bus which visits Bury once a week to support a safe night time economy, will see it receive £2,500 over the next four years.

Core funding for ISCRE, the racial equality service is at £2,000 annually and £7,000 is being allocated to the Bury Volunteer Centre next year.

Councillors also agreed to reduce the management fee paid to Abbeycroft Leisure which runs the Bury and Haverhill leisure centres. This £100,000 cutback would be achieved over four years. Councillors also recommended maintaining the £45,250 grant to the Victory Sports Ground which has just been taken over by a consortium.