Grant bid refusal hits plans to improve green spaces

A TOWN'S plans to carry out improvements to a number of small greens has been dealt a blow after a grant bid was turned down.

Work on the Galgate Greens, in Barnard Castle, was part of a larger scheme which also included sprucing up the Garden of Remembrance.

While that part of the project has just about been completed, an application by the Barnard Castle Town Council to the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership for a grant to help fund landscaping work on the greens, which are located either side of the Garden of Remembrance, has been declined.

Councillor John Watson told the services committee the Heart of Teesdale's community initiative fund had been oversubscribed with applications for cash, a situation which was likely to be repeated for the final round of bids in January 2014.

He was critical of the Heart of Teesdale's support for “festivals and entertainment” rather than “projects on the ground” and said it was disappointing there was no masterplan in the public domain to give an indications of how its resources were distributed.

He told committee members: “To complete the scheme, we need to ensure there are adequate funds in the (town council's) budget.”

Assistant town clerk Helen Plant said there was some cash available which had been set aside as match funding for anything that came from the Heart of Teesdale bid.

She said the search had begun to try to find other sources of funding for the greens scheme.

Committee chairman Coun Roger Peat said: “We need to see what we can do with what we have got and what we can get from elsewhere.

“If we can do it in stages, let's do what we can now.”

Coun Peat said members should not be critical of the Heart of Teesdale's decision.

“I think the Heart of Teesdale should be commended for what has been achieved,” he said.

“We should not think that if we can't get money from the Heart of Teesdale, that's it. We have done very well from the Heart of Teesdale.”

Members were told they needed “a few thousand pounds” to complete the greens improvements.

Mrs Plant said: “There is funding out there. It is a case of getting the application forms done.”

  • The council's bid to the Heart of Teesdale for a grant to help cover the cost of bulb planting at the castle walls was approved. Bulb planting will begin in September.

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