Reports of £10,000 grant for Bishop's Waltham premature says parish council (From Hampshire Chronicle)
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Reports of £10,000 grant for Bishop's Waltham premature says parish council
11:00am Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
REPORTS that Bishop’s Waltham had a won a £10,000 grant appear to be premature.
Last week the BBC reported that the town had been awarded the funds as a ‘consolation prize’ following an unsuccessful bid to be part of retail guru Mary Portas’ high street regeneration scheme.
But by Monday, October 1, neither the parish council nor Winchester City Council, who would take receipt of the funds from central government and distribute them to Bishop’s Waltham, had received any confirmation of the award.
Councillor Barry Nicholson said: “We believe we’ve been successful but we only saw it on the BBC –we’ve received no confirmation from the government or from Winchester City Council.”
The money would be awarded by the department for communities and local government, but a spokesman for them said: “Bishop's Waltham have bid for £10,000 for a town team, but this has not been approved or paid out yet.”
On Tuesday MP George Hollingbery admitted he may responsible for the confusion. He said: “I think it’s almost certain that the parish will get the grant but I must hold my hands up and say I’ve been a bit premature. I will get confirmation as soon as I can, that will probably be October 15.”
After Bishop’s Waltham bosses failed to secure the £100,000 Mary Portas grant, a second, unsuccessful application for funding was made. The government then announced that providing they had the backing of their local MP, unsuccessful parishes could apply for a one-off £10,000 grant to boost their high streets. Bishop’s Waltham want to use those funds for a ‘town centre administrator’ - something Barry Nicholson believes could be necessary in response to the new Sainsbury’s store.
Mr Nicholson said: “A town centre administrator would oversee marketing for the town with a view to boosting Bishop’s Waltham’s profile, for both business and tourism. We’re looking to pre-empt any potential after-effects that might arise from the Sainsbury’s store.”