Parish council secures professional help to get project funding

FORSBROOK Parish Council has sought professional help in its bid to gain gain funding for improvements to changing facilities at the village recreation ground

It has turned to Andrew Heaward from Blythe Bridge, who runs his own consultancy – Heaward Solutions – which offers non-profit organisations help and support to access grant funding.

Mr Heaward was invited to speak at the recent parish council monthly meeting.

A former manager of leisure services in Stoke-on-Trent, he has helped raise more than £35 million for projects across the city and beyond during his career.

Speaking about the recreation ground project, 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 Mr Heaward'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 building on Uttoxeter Road, which has become suirplus to police requirements, has yet to be decided.

However, council chairman Peter has hinted the building could become a ‘community centre'.

Picture: The redundant Blythe Bridge police post on Uttoxeter Road.


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