December 12 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
The chairman of an organisation set up to boost a town’s economy has said he is “confident” it will continue despite uncertainty over its future funding.
Stowmarket Town Centre Partnership has received a total of almost £180,000 from Suffolk councils in grants since it started in 2010.
But funding from Suffolk County Council, which has given £60,000 over three years, has finished and now Stowmarket Town Council is set to review how much it spends on the group.
Town councillors met last week to discuss its funding which has cost more than £100,000. Speaking at the meeting, town clerk David Blackburn said: “It’s about time the town council reviewed the town centre partnership and its projects.
“We will look at what the partnership might look like and how we engage with stakeholders – the Museum of East Anglian Life, the church, the John Peel centre and other partners – in creating something that’s affordable in the town.
“There’s a great deal to come out of this review and the potential to help the vitality of the town centre.”
Mid Suffolk District Council has spent about £14,000 on the partnership over two years.
The partnership, which costs about £30,000 a year to run, has also received money from councils to help organise events including the Christmas lights switch-on.
Tony Hutchinson, chairman of the partnership, said: “I am very confident that we will continue and also receive funding – we have only just received money from Mid Suffolk – that was agreed two weeks ago.
“We will be meeting with Stowmarket Town Council to look at how we are meeting our objectives. We are doing a good job and I hope they continue the funding in the next year and the following.”
He pointed to this year’s inaugural town centre car show, organised by the partnership, which saw thousands of people visit Stowmarket.
A Suffolk County Council spokesman said there was no further funding agreed beyond what it had spent up to 2012/13.
Mid Suffolk said it has not committed to any long-term funding but would assess its contribution year-on-year.