A specialist in grant funding is set to help Forsbrook Parish Council extend and refurbish sports changing rooms in Blythe Bridge. The changing rooms are set to be deep cleaned – at a cost of £350 – but will then remain closed to players because of the coronavirus.
A specialist in grant funding is set to help Forsbrook Parish Council extend and refurbish sports changing rooms in Blythe Bridge.
The changing rooms are set to be deep cleaned – at a cost of £350 – but will then remain closed to players because of the coronavirus.
The parish council plans to improve facilities at the changing rooms, but needs to raise additional funds after diverting cash towards the hoped-for purchase of the former Blythe Bridge Police Post.
Andrew Heaward from Blythe Bridge, runs his own consultancy – Heaward Solutions – offering non-profit organisations the help and support they need to access grant funding.
He was invited to speak to the parish council at their monthly meeting on Monday, July 20.
A former manager of leisure services in Stoke-on-Trent, Andrew has helped raise more than £35 million for projects across the city and beyond during his career.
He said: “I think it would be worth doing an investigatory piece of work to look at what the funding options are.
“The first starting point is what you want and what the vision is for the changing rooms. Then it would be a funding analysis. In the UK there are 8,800 funders and the lowest figure they give is £3.2 billion every year – and that excludes the Lottery, the Government and corporates.
“We could probably find a fund that would pay for a meeting room or training room and that might be interesting, but how do you want to ‘swear’ your asset? Are you really going to spend £40,000 for it just to be used once a week on a Sunday morning during the football season? How does that relate to the activities in the community centre? That all needs thinking through when building a bid. But it’s possible to get funding.”
The parish council agreed to consider Andrew’s advice and hold a special meeting in August – when the council is usually in recess – to debate the future potential of the changing rooms and how to get the project moving.
The council also heard that funding plans for the former police post were looking hopeful and that there was optimism the amount needed to purchase the building as a community asset could be found in time.
The future of the police post has yet to be decided, although in a message to villagers after the parish council meeting, chairman of the council Peter Jones, stated the building could become a ‘community centre.’
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