Avoncroft Cricket Club – Dual Lane Cricket net facilities
Paul Athey from the Cricket Club attended to present the application and respond to questions from the Panel.
It was explained that the junior section of the Club had been restarted some 5 years ago and had now increased to 120 5-14 years olds. This was largely due to developments in the Stoke Prior area, with the expectation that it would expand further in the future.
The Club currently struggled to offer quality training to the youngsters as the training facilities were some 20 years old and the nets had been taken out of use due to concerns around health and safety. In the last two years it was understood that Aston Fields Middle School was the only school which offered cricket, St John’s Middle School had shown an interest in using the facilities and having coaching support. It was hoped that this would progress to other schools within the vicinity.
The Chairman explained that as the amount of funding requested by applicants far exceeded the available money, would a contribution be acceptable if the whole amount was not available. Mr Athey confirmed that this would be as applications were also being considered by Sports England and the Lottery, but that these would not be able to cover the whole project. There was also some flexibility within the proposed project and one bay could be installed rather than two if necessary.
Belbroughton Recreation Centre – Belbroughton playground redevelopment
Representatives from the Recreation Centre Committee attended to present the application. It was highlighted that they had been working on this project for a number of years and they were now in a positon to proceed with the first phase of it. This included the removal of existing equipment, fencing and surfacing and laying a new surface for the whole area. Funding had been secured from a variety of other bodies including the parish council, but this was reliant upon match funding. It was hoped that the current developers would be able to assist with the demolition work and the timescale for this was September/October, so if the funding was not available then an alternative plan would need to be put in place for this first phase of the project.
Members discussed a number of other areas in more detail, including:
· What other facilities were available for young people – it was noted that there was a small skate ramp, a section for older children in the play area, which had been removed due to safety issues and therefore there was nothing suitable for children of 6 years and over.
· Members asked whether the young people meeting at the park helped local businesses – it was confirmed that it was likely that local shops would benefit from an increased footfall at the park and the Recreation Centre itself would also benefit, as currently there was not as many clubs as there could be using it and this would definitely help to bring more users to the Centre.
Bentley and Pauncefoot Parish Council – Refurbish and enhance the village playground
It was highlighted to the Panel that whilst this application had been included within the Higher Bids section, it was in fact for the lower amount of bid and should be considered as such by the Panel.
Barry Spence from the Parish Council attended to present this application. It was explained that the playground was in need of upgrading in order to make it more attractive to residents and visitors and to encourage them to take advantage of the rural environment. There were no local retail facilities which would benefit economically from an increase in use, but it would further encourage people of all age groups to meet and use the local facilities. It was confirmed that the playground was owned by the Village Hall Trust and was the only facility in the parish which was available for such things as weddings, so the enhanced playground would add to what was on offer. The upkeep of the playground would be the responsibility of the Village Hall Trust.
Bromsgrove Baptist Church – Bromsgrove Youth and Community Hub
Reverend Paul Lewis from the Baptist Church and Geoff Taylor Smith from the YMCA, one of the partners from the Youth and Community Hub, attended to respond to questions in respect of the application. It was confirmed that it had been running for 12 months and had far exceeded expectations. They were therefore keen to see ways of growing and developing the service further and were being guided by what the young people had said they would like to see, this included the service being available at weekends.
The project was already sustainable; this money would allow them to look at what additional support could be delivered.
Cofton Village Hall – new village hall for Cofton Hackett
John Slack and Shelagh O’Loughlin attended as representatives of the Cofton Village Hall Trust. It was explained that the hall had been built as part of a Section 106 agreement with the developers. The newly built hall was now ready to handover to the Trustees; however work still needed to be carried out in fitting it out. The Parish Council had contributed to the legal and infrastructure costs.
Funding raising events continued and there had been several offers of match funding from employers of local residents and grants through employee schemes. To date £35k had been raised
Cofton Hackett Village Hall – Refurbishment of Kitchen and Toilet facilities
Jennifer Webb attended on behalf of the Cofton Hackett Village Hall Committee. She explained that the Village Hall had been built by local residents and had undergone a full refurbishment in 2009, but this had not included the inside. The only income received was from the hire of the Hall and it had needed to make a number of improvements such as having CCTV fitted. Currently the committee had £5k in balances which would go towards the refurbishment of inside the Hall. It was important that this work was carried out in order for it to be more attractive to hirers and to encourage more community groups to use it. Saturdays and Sundays were set aside for parties and hirers were able to do their own catering.
Members raised the following questions:
· There were 2 village halls in Cofton and Members questions whether this was sustainable – it was confirmed that each Hall would have very different users and would meet different needs for residents, so there was no reason why they could not both exist.
· Members questioned why baby changing facilities were only being placed in the Ladies’ Toilets and it was confirmed that this could also be included in the other toilets.
Friends of St John’s Bromsgrove – Resurface Adam’s Hill
Jo Slade attended on behalf of the Friends of St John’s. It was explained that this had been looked at for some time and that some funding had already been secured. Worcestershire County Council had been contacted in respect of its inclusion within the project for cycle paths, but none of the path ways were wide enough. They had also contact the Land Registry in respect of who owned the land and it appeared that the land remained in the ownership of the Church. It was noted that this Council maintained the Churchyard. The path was well used and in need of urgent repair.
King’s Norton Rugby Club – Freehold land purchase (Clifford’s Field)
Roger Adams, Chairman and Simon Thompson, Treasurer attended on behalf of the King’s Norton Rugby Club. Background information in respect of the history of the Rugby Club was provided. The Rugby Club had shown interest in purchasing the piece of land in question, which was essential to the future development of the Club. It had now come up for sale and a price had been agreed of £80K plus legal fees, these would be done by the parent of a player who worked for a legal firm in Birmingham. Funding raising events were on going and the Panel were provided with a “Fields of Dream” leaflet which had been prepared by another parent, so the only costs to the Club had been the printing. There was an increased number of junior players coming through and the Club had a membership of over 200. Other organisations also used the facilities for example Rugby League and American Football. The regional Hurling Club also used it. The Club were also keen to offer the chance for local schools to use the ground and West Health Primary School already used it for their Sports Day.
It was confirmed that the extra space would be dedicated for the use of children, as the current facilities were cramped and this extension would help it to grow.
It was confirmed that any contribution from the Grants Panel would help towards achieve the end goal, the option to buy the land had a further 8 months to run, but the funds needed to be raised within that period.
Primrose Hospice – provide complementary therapy and counselling services
Heather Coughlin, Family Support Team Leader from the Primrose Hospice attended to present the application. Ms Coughlin explained some of the work that was carried out with the families and patients and advised that she had 2 permanent members of staff with further support from over 35 volunteers. In respect of Counselling, Primrose was the first Hospice to be BACP accredited and was held in very high regard. It was a much needed positive service and in the last quarter had worked with over 200 people from both Redditch and Bromsgrove.
Members discussed a number of areas in more detail and asked whether this was an annual cost of the proposed services, it was confirmed that this was a contribution towards the cost. The Primrose Hospice relied entirely on voluntary contributions, fund raising and grants such as the New Homes Bonus Scheme. It was lucky enough to automatically receive 5 places in the London Marathon, which was often part of the journey for those families that they worked with.
St Michael’s Stoke Prior Tower Fund – protecting the heritage through community engagement
Karen Deane attended on behalf of the St Michael’s Stoke Prior Tower Fund. Background information was provided in respect of the history of the tower. They had received a National Lottery Heritage Fund for two thirds of the project cost, subject to raising the balance form local sources and national charities. If they did not achieve the required level by the end of 2019, then they would lose the national Lottery Heritage Funding offer. The award of a grant from this Panel would mean they had the amount needed to secure that funding.
Ms Deane provided Members with information in respect of the different uses and groups that could use the restored tower. Interest had been shown from Avoncroft Museum and partnership working was a good option. The John Corbett trail could be incorporated within it and local schools could use the facility. There were lots of ways in which it could be used to engage with the local community.
Haybridge High School – Replacement Minibus
Apologies had been received from the representative of the school who was unable to attend.
The Executive Director, Finance and Resources gave a brief overview of the application.
Members were concerned that the minibus would not be available outside of school hours and for other community groups’ use and it was confirmed that within the full application this had been clarified and it would be made available for such use.