Funds boost to volunteers

Jane Hugo
Jane Hugo
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VOLUNTARY groups ranging from Blackpool Music School to Fylde Coast Women’s Aid are set to get a cash boost.

Blackpool Council is hoping to dish out around £390,000 to different organisations as part of its annual package of support for the voluntary sector.

The total is an increase on last year, when £375,000 was handed out.

Councillors have made a series of recommendations although they are still dependent on budgetary constraints.

The grants, which are set to be distributed in the next financial year 2012/13, also include commitments to support a number of organisations as part of service level agreements between the council and voluntary sector.

Leader of Blackpool Council Coun Simon Blackburn said: “I’m delighted we are able to offer so many local groups and associations funding for the excellent work they do in our community.

“Even during difficult financial times it’s important we continue to support these groups. Each application has gone through rigorous check to ensure that the money will be well spent helping local residents.

“The recommendations will now go to the scrutiny and executive committees before a final decision is made.”

Among the grants being recommended are £1,000 to the Boathouse youth project, and £500 to the Blackpool Residents Federation.

Fylde Coast Women’s aid is in line for £4,000, a £3,000 grant is being recommended for Blackpool Boys and Girls Club at Laycock Gate, and £2,000 is being recommended for Blackpool Music School.

The total recommended in small grant handouts is £14,600 with the bulk of the financial aid going to meet the cost of service level agreements.

This includes maintaining support for the Citizens Advice Bureau which is set to receive just short of £70,000 – the same it received for this financial year.

Support is also being maintained at previous levels for the Streetlife Trust, which helps homeless people, and it is being recommended to receive £43,650.

Streetlife manager Jane Hugo said; “We have had cuts in other areas so it is fantastic the council is able to maintain the support they are offering the voluntary sector.

“The money we get from the council enables Streetlife to bring in funding from other areas such as Comic Relief and Children In Need.”

The recommendations are due to go before the council’s scrutiny committee when it meets on Thursday.

Councillors also suggested they should make site visits to organisations six months after they receive funding.