Grants dilemma for Huntingdon Town Council

DISAPPOINTMENT was inevitable for some of the 23 Huntingdon community groups and charities who applied for �54,000 worth of funding but failed to get a slice of an �18,000 pot.

Huntingdon town councillors faced the difficult task of recommending which organisations to award funding and which to turn away knowing that they had only a third of the funds available.

Their recommendations are due to go before the finance committee on Thursday night (April 14) for approval.

The organisations who walked away empty-handed were Friends of Huntingdon Town Park, Huntingdon Community Radio, The Royal Air Forces Association, Performing Arts at the Commemoration Hall, Huntingdonshire Holidays, Huntingdon Youth Centre, Huntingdon and District Cricket Club and Hunts Skaters.

Among the luckier ones were Huntingdon Citizens Advice Bureau who secured �1,200 worth of funding, less than a third of their original request. The money will go towards supporting the salary costs of a specialist debt advisor for one day a week in the Huntingdon office.

Huntingdon in Bloom received one of the biggest pay-out with a �2,250 grant, which will go towards funding events and planting in the town, buying containers and arranging local competitions for residents and businesses.

It will also be used to provide transport Britain in Bloom judges around the town when they visit in September.

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Chairman of Huntingdon in Bloom Peter Jackson said: “The whole thing is about trying to keep the town at a high standard of cleanliness and making the town a happy place. We work hard and everybody does support us.”

Another top grant was �2,500 awarded to Huntingdon Youth Centre for their two-week summer activity programme, but funding applications for sport street sessions and Hunts Skaters were turned down, though members hinted they would be open to working with the centre on projects in the future.

A further �6,175 remains in the council coffers to be awarded in September.

Committee chairman Cllr John Morgan said: “The problem was there was �54,000 and just �18,000 to get rid of in two chunks. We had all done our homework. We had all come up with figures in our minds and everybody agreed.”