Corby Council planning to double grant pot for voluntary groups for its final year

When they set the 2019/20 financial budget Corby Council will decide whether ti give an extra 300,000 towards community groups.
When they set the 2019/20 financial budget Corby Council will decide whether ti give an extra 300,000 towards community groups.

Corby Council is set to double its funding to the town’s voluntary groups as it heads into the final year before it is abolished.

Deputy leader Jean Addison put forward a proposal to add a big cash sum to the grants contribution for the voluntary sector after the council’s head of finance Adrian Sibley said at last night’s One Corby policy meeting that the authority would have a surplus of £400,000 this year to add into its general fund.

Cllr Addison said: “I suggest that £300,000 is moved over into the grants allocation so we can help voluntary organisations in the borough over the forthcoming years.”

The Labour councillor’s proposal was backed by all the other councillors and will now go forward to the full council next week (Feb 27) for approval.

The authority has given more than £250,000 in grants to voluntary groups this year. Devolved organisations such as community centres have received a total of £128,810 and there have also been a series of small grants, and health and arts grants. Organisations that benefitted this year include Abacus netball club, Priors Hall Neighbourhood Association, Weldon Pre-School and the Costello Irish Dance.

This will be the final budget of the borough council ahead of its abolition and the anticipated move to a unitary governance system next April.

The £300,000 is on top of the £5m the council is taking out of its £10m reserves to fund a series of improvements across the town. This will include £600,000 to revamp the shopping parades throughout the town’s housing estates and some new play areas. New self-watering planters will also be brought and installed throughout the town.

Finance officer Adrian Sibley said the council was able to do this because it had been prudent in recent years and would still be able to hand over a healthy level of reserves to the new unitary authority. He also said officers would be monitored to make sure the funds were spent before April 2020.