Saturday, 18 June 2016

Seeking a grant

The guttering that surrounds our green is in need of renewal. The current wooden backing is bowing in places and potentially unsafe. Needing more desperate maintenance every winter. Seeking replacement with GRC sections.

So it's bad news this week that our application for a grant to cover the £25,000 cost of replacement to the Mick George Community Fund has been unsuccessful. No reason given. No chance to go back and ask how close we were to success.

Since I did all the legwork on the application, done some more research into alternatives. The Amey Community Fund is a similar fund, a payment of 11% being required from us. There's also the Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities England, though I believe applying for a Lottery grant is hard work.

We can also apply for an interest free loan from Bowls England, up to £20,000 payable over eight years or less. In fact the club already has a loan from Bowls England for an extension to the clubhouse, the last £1,000 instalment payable this year.

The guidelines for the Amey grant say they'll look more favourably on applications where some of the money comes from another source. Maybe that's where we went wrong with the Mick George application, asking for the full amount from them.

My view is we should borrow £7,000 from Bowls England when we've paid the last instalment on the current loan, effectively just continuing our present commitment. We can then apply for the balance from the Amey Community Fund.

We've got a committee meeting in a couple of weeks. No doubt there'll be an interesting discussion. Here are some snaps of the problem.

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