COUNCIL chiefs are to debate whether to hand a £70,000 cash injection to a charity that operates the city’s six community centres and runs a range of other services for local residents
Worcester City Council’s cabinet is to be asked to approve a one-off grant of £70,000 to Worcester Community Trust (WCT), in order to ensure the charity can continue to operate.
WCT’s income has been impacted by a range of issues in recent years, however Council Deputy Leader Coun Joy Squires believes the charity provides vital services for Worcester and is backing the one-off grant.
“WCT is an important provider of children’s play, youth services, skills training, community education programmes, support for elderly people and much more,” she said.
“I believe it is important the City Council steps in to ensure the many people who depend on these services across Worcester do not lose out, so I will be recommending that Cabinet backs this grant.”
WCT was established in 2011 to take over the running of the City Council’s six community centres – in Warndon, Ronkswood, Dines Green, Tolladine, the Horizon Centre in Midland Road and the KGV Hub at King George Playing Fields.
A report to the cabinet notes that the Trust’s work supports several of the aims in the new City Plan recently launched for Worcester.
It supports prosperity by providing access to training to help boost residents’ skills, helps people be healthy and active, and works to strengthen community cohesion.
Many of WCT’s individual activities are financially supported by organisations including the Bransford Trust, Worcestershire Consolidated Municipal Charities, Age UK, Worcestershire County Council and the Hopmarket Charity.
However, the Cabinet report also said WCT’s aspiration to become self-financing by the end of the current financial year has not been realised because of a range of factors outside of the organisation’s control.
These include more competition for national funds, pressures on local government finances and a bid for £500,000 in funding from the Big Lottery Fund proving unsuccessful.
The City Council has already made two grants to WCT in 2016, £25,000 in February and a further £35,000 in July to ensure the stability of the Trust’s reserves.
If the Cabinet backs this new £70,000 grant when it meets on Tuesday (October 25) it will also launch a full review of the provision of community services across Worcester.