Charities boosted by legacy in will

Photo: David Hurst'Fleetwood Sea Cadets Inspection Night. North West Area Commanding Officer Philip Russ shares a light comment with one of the marine cadets
Photo: David Hurst'Fleetwood Sea Cadets Inspection Night. North West Area Commanding Officer Philip Russ shares a light comment with one of the marine cadets
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Fleetwood Sea Cadets unit has been boosted to the tune of £55,000 after a port resident decided to help his home town in his will.

The unit is one of 16 charities in Fleetwood which have benefited from the legacy of Tony Smith, who left a total legacy of £217,700.

Among the other charities in the town to benefit were West View Community Association (£9,911) and the Fleetwood branch of the Royal Naval Association (£5,000).

The groups have been informed of the funding but have not yet been presented with the cash.

Mr Smith, who died from cancer in January 2014, grew up in Manchester but moved to Fleetwood over 30 years ago.

He was in his early 80s when he died in Trinity Hospice.

Mr Smith, who lived on Fairway, had stated he was made to feel so welcome in Fleetwood that he wanted to leave something for the benefit of the town after he died.

Fleetwood solicitor Alan Vincent, who has been handling Mr Smith’s affairs, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that Tony Smith left this money in his will to benefit Fleetwood charities.

“Speaking personally, it’s been a real joy to play my part in helping these organisations continue with the excellent work they do in our community.”

Shaun MacNeill, vice chairman of West View Community Association, said: “We’re extremely grateful for this money.

“It will allow us to continue with the revamp of West View Community Centre, basically making the upstairs open plan as well.

“We have already improved the downstairs thanks to the £19,000 grant from Regenda Housing, but now we can work on the upstairs.

“The idea is that people of West View use the centre for all sorts of things including courses.”

Mr Vincent added: “Mr Smith was a client of mine and he asked me to be the trustee in this matter.

“The instructions are that only Fleetwood-based charities who work within the town are able to apply. Another clear stipulation is that they must be registered charities, not associations or any other kind of group.

“He wanted the money to spread around so it would be preferable if several charities were able to benefit and the money distributed evenly.

“The main idea was that the money be used in a way that will allow these charities to continue their good work in Fleetwood. In others words, they need to be sustainable projects which can keep going and will help the charities help themselves.”

Mr Vincent said he knew relatively little about Mr Smith and did not know where he had worked or many personal details.Mr Smith had been married but his wife died before him and the couple had no children.