Voluntary groups in line for grants

Haydn Austin of Vountary Wheels
Haydn Austin of Vountary Wheels

NINE voluntary and community groups are in line for a funding boost worth a total of £151,000.

Groups around Hartlepool have been recommended to receive grants between £6,000 and £24,000 towards the cost of salaries and utility bills including heating, lighting, telephone and electricity bills.

Hartlepool Borough Council is set to decide the funding applications from its Community Pool next week.

Officers have recommended the following applications for approval:

● Epilepsy Outlook, £9,163 towards the costs of the operations manager’s salary;

● Families First, £21,958.89 towards the cost of three salaries, two core workers and one project worker;

● Hartlepool Access Group, £23,949 towards the cost of five salaries including a manager, administrator and equipment worker;

● Hartlepool & District Hospice, £24,314 of funding towards the salary of a head of bereavement;

● Hartlepool PROP, £7,070 to help fund a manager’s post;

● Owton Fens Community Association, £22,760 to help fund project manager and development worker;

● People’s Centre, £17,823 towards project manager’s salary and contribution to running costs;

● Salaam Centre, £18,432 towards heating, lighting, telephone costs and caretaker salary;

● Voluntary Wheels, £6,058 towards the co-ordinator/drivers’ salary.

The total recommended for approval is £151,528.

Mayor Stuart Drummond will decide on the funding next week at a council meeting.

Senior officers say they received funding bids totalling £401,138, which meant it was over-subscribed for the amount available around £250,000.

A report by Dave Stubbs, the council’s director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said: “The requests received ranged from £6,058 to £43,473 and were from a wide variety of diverse organisations.

“The over-subscription highlights the fiscal pressures faced by the council and that disappointment to some interested parties would be unavoidable.”

Mr Stubbs added: “A thorough monitoring process will be undertaken with all successful applicants to ensure that the projects are performing as expected.”

Officers said the initial phase of the application assessment process was to ensure the project met the criteria with extra consideration given to whether or not the same service is being commissioned by the council through another channel.

They also looked at whether the organisation receives a “significant level” of their income from the council through existing contracts.

If either applied then they would be automatically exempt.

The mayor’s portfolio meeting is due to take place on Monday, May 21, at 9.30am at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road.