TWENTY-FIVE local organisations will benefit from grants totalling more than £42,000, handed out by Lyme Regis Town Council this week, including several water sports groups.
The town council held its annual meeting to discuss minor and medium grant applications from local organisations on Wednesday, with a total of £42,473.79 given away – less than the budget of £47,000.
In previous years, the annual grants allocation has been a drawn-out process sometimes resulting in arguments between members, but councillors allocated funds in the record time of an hour on Wednesday, with only two applications rejected.
A grant application from Lyme Regis Town Band was rejected by officers before the meeting, as the money had already been spent and it is against the council’s policy to award grants retrospectively.
The remaining 26 applications requested a total of £50,772.79, against the council’s budget of £47,000 for grants.
At the beginning of Wednesday’s meeting, councillors were asked if there were any other applications they felt should not be considered.
It was agreed to reject Lyme Regis Development Trust’s application for £4,999 towards building work to the front of The Hub to prevent water ingress.
Councillor Steve Miller said he did not think that the council’s minor and medium grants should be used for building repairs, and Councillor John Broom said he felt the development trust could pay for this itself from rent gained from other properties it owned in the town.
The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, also expressed concerns that the development trust’s offices were now based at The Hub, as she felt the building should be used for youth provision only.
After rejecting the trust’s application, councillors were told they had enough in their budget to give all other applicants the full amount they had requested.
Councillors agreed to approve en bloc all requests for minor grants – those under £1,000 – which came to a total of £8,897.
Although they had enough money to also approve all remaining medium grants requests – between £1,000 and £5,000 – the mayor reminded members that this did not necessarily mean they had to give all the budgeted funds away. Councillors instead decided to look at each application individually.
Only three organisations did not receive the full amount they requested.
The Harbour Voices choir was granted £2,000 rather than the £2,900 requested for the creation and/or purchase of costumes, stage props and venue hire for rehearsals; Lyme Regis Festivals received £1,500 of its requested £2,400 for Lyme Folk Weekend; and Lyme Regis Musical Theatre received £3,000 for the staging of ‘Anything Goes’ in May, having requested £4,500. All other applications were granted in full.
High praise for water sports organisations
Water sports in Lyme Regis significantly benefitted from this year’s grants.
Adventure Under Sail, which plans to take 28 local youngsters on a six-day voyage on the The Pelican tall ship next month, received £999 to subsidise the cost of the trip.
Lyme Regis Gig Club received £4,998.80 to purchase equipment for a fitness facility for members; Lyme Regis Sea School Trust was granted £4,999.99 – the biggest grant of the night – to replace some of its boats; and the Lyme Splash Water Polo Championship and Club was given £1,500 to purchase goals and nets.
The 1st Lym Valley Scouts is also planning to put its £2,500 grant towards rafting gear, including buoyancy aids, helmets, paddles, rope, barrels and poles.
Councillors gave high praise to Lyme’s water sports organisations, saying they were a great asset to the town and provided excellent training and opportunities for young people.
The full list of approved grants were as follows: 1st Lym Valley Scout Group – £2,500 to purchase rafting equipment; Adventure Under Sail – £999 to take local young people on The Pelican of London for six-day trip; Axe Valley and West Dorset Ring & Ride Service – £2,500 for community transport for elderly, disables and isolated; Axminster and Lyme cancer Support – £500 for informative events and complementary therapy treatments for those affected by cancer; Bridport and District Citizens Advice Bureau – £4,778 for weekly outreach service in Lyme Regis; Dorset Youth Association – £290 for delivery of support services for youth clubs and groups, including The Hub; Hallett Court Social Club – £990 for two coach trips and a Christmas lunch; Get Together Club – £820 for harvest lunch for 50 members and hire of hall; Harbour Voices – £2,000 for purchase and/or creation of costumes, purchase of stage props and hire of rehearsal venue; Home-Start West Dorset – £900 to support volunteers in Lyme Regis, including travel costs, supervision and ongoing training; King George V Playing Field, Uplyme – £250 for lighting to allow the air ambulance to land at night; Lyme Regis Development Trust – £999 to provide summer activity programme for young people; Lyme Regis Festivals – £1,500 to host free music events on the seafront and Theatre Square during Lyme Folk Weekend; Lyme Regis Gig Club – £4,998.80 to purchase equipment for fitness facility for members; Lyme Regis Jazz Festival – £400 to provide technical equipment for an international big band visiting from Norway; Lyme Regis Musical Theatre – £3,000 to support the 2019 production ‘Anything Goes’; Lyme Regis Pantomime Society – £999 to purchase fogger machine for special effects; Lyme Regis Sea School Trust – £4,999.99 to replace two Picos and a Wayfarer dinghy; Lyme Regis/St George’s Twinning Association – £750 to sponsor a local student to produce a report on the benefits of twinning, including a trip to Bermuda; Lyme Splash Water Polo Championship and Club – £1,500 to purchase goals and nets to practice for the championship; Over 70s Christmas Dinner Committee – £250 for cream tea for elderly residents; St Michael’s Primary School and Pre-School PFA – £1,700 to purchase equipment and resources to set up Forest School; Turn Lyme Green – £2,100 to further extend pubic knowledge of environmental matters through education and raising awareness; Uplyme and Lyme Regis Cricket Club – £2,000 to build patio area in front of club and enhance pavilion; Uplyme Community Sponsorship Scheme – £750 to find suitable housing for a refugee family from Syria displaced by war.