ALL of the borough’s grant-funded voluntary organisations will have their aid renewed next year, the council’s draft budget has pledged.
But although a number of charities will get their grants increased, the majority who asked for more were unsuccessful.
Overall it is a better state of affairs for voluntary organisations, in light of last year’s purge, in which the funding of most groups was either severely cut or axed altogether.
Last year, Hillingdon Council was forced to find savings of £200,000 as it reduced its grant budget from £1.6million to £1.4m. This year it has been announced that the council is to up its treasure chest to £1.8m, with £1.45m approved so far. The remainder will come in the form of a £350,000 fund to which organisations can apply under a new small grants scheme.
The council said it felt it was important to keep money aside for special circumstances, rather than simply spread it all across the board.
The biggest winner in this year’s grant funding is Homestart Hillingdon, a charity in Long Lane, which aims to support financially struggling families. Homestart has had its grant nearly doubled, from £65,000 to £120,000.
One of several groups unsuccessful in securing extra funding was Hillingdon Women’s Centre (HWC), in Long Lane.
HWC had sought to increase its yearly funding of £25,000 to more than £37,000, but was not selected for an increase.
Jill Lynch, centre co-ordinator, said: “It is still terrific news, to sustain the same amount of funding from last year. The council have done very well. We still need to find another £6,000 and will be looking at other pots of money we can apply for.”
There have also been applications from new organisations. Four out of six have yet to be ruled on, but a £7,450 bid from Muslim Aid and a £3,000 request from the Orange Tree Theatre were both rejected.
All these figures could change if central government funding is amended, or if the council suffers an unexpected shortfall elsewhere.