Community Fund Allocations 2018

Thorner Community Fund (TCF)

Allocation of Thorner Community Fund Grant 2018

All village groups, clubs and societies were invited to apply for an allocation from the 2018 fund. Seven bids were received.The money received from donations by Thorner residents for Leeds Festival tickets provides the annual grant fund. In addition there was a generous £7,500 donation given by Festival Republic.

The grant meeting was held on 26th November 2018.It was attended by the following Thorner Community Fund (TCF) committee:

Wayne Young (Chair)
Annette Carr
Katie Coppock
Mark Darley
Gillian Riley
Nick Tucker

They were joined, to form an extended committee, by:

Melvin Benn, Rachel Lane Fox and Alister Turnbull.

The committee would like to express sincere thanks to Melvin, Rachel and Alister for their support and contributions to the assessment process.

Like last year there were fewer bids than usual this year, nevertheless total demand on the available grant money was high.

The committee uses the following broad criteria to help make decisions on the allocation of grants:

• viability of the group
• how active/successful the group is in their own fundraising efforts
• actual worth or visible/tangible benefit of the award to the village
• past support from the Thorner Community Fund
• other income sources.

As in previous years, those involved in the grant allocation process spent a number of hours, both individually and collectively, assessing the bids against the above aspects. We again used the scoring system that we have used successfully on the previous two years. At the grant meeting Melvin, Rachel and Alister brought a fresh perspective and independent oversight, ahead of the final decisions. All in all, we are confident that the annual grant process is rigorous, fair and ensures the appropriate use of the Community Fund money.

We are delighted to inform all villagers that money granted to the village organisations as a result of donations by Thorner residents for Leeds Festival tickets and additional donations received from Festival Republic since the 2003, when the Festival was first held at Bramham Park, has now exceeded £500,000. This fact, as well as the significant reduction in the number of village groups applying for annual grant-funding in the last two years, has led the TCF to conclude that the time is now right to review the annual grant process, to ensure we continue to provide best-value from the grant for the village in the years to come. We will consult on any changes before the next grant-round.

The following is a resume of the rationale applied, the decisions made and the amounts allocated. As well as informing the village groups of the outcome of the annual grant allocation, we hope that this may be of interest to unsuccessful applicants for future bids.

Bowling Club – bid request £15,000                  Grant awarded: £15,000
Purpose – New toilets; re-position them within the clubhouse
Thorner Bowling Club is an established crown green bowling club and is highly regarded by the bowling community of this area. The club provides a crown green bowling facility for all Thorner residents and the neighbouring villages of Bramham, Scarcroft, Shadwell and Clifford. Total membership is currently 38.The club is also the home of the Leeds Junior teams, which are managed and coached by Thorner club members.The club applied for grant funding to re-position and fully renew its ladies, gents and disabled toilet facilities.Last year’s bid for club house re-furbishment was not supported by TCF but it was encouraged to consider reapplying this year with an improved plan. The Bowling Club had clearly taken on board TCF’s feedback and submitted a well thought out plan within a comprehensive and compliant bid. This included a surveyor’s report confirming that the clubhouse still has a life-span of at least 25 years provided the club heeds his advice given to urgently re-fix some loose external cladding and re-decorate external timber surfaces, as well as ensuring a regular regime of ongoing maintenance. TCF acknowledged that the bid was a large amount for toilets and would like to encourage the club to follow the surveyor’s recommendations; in addition, where appropriate, the clubhouse facility could be opened for wider community use. The bid was supported in full.

Community Choir – bid request £2,000                        Grant awarded: £0
Purpose – Village Music Project and concert
The Community Choir is planning to organise a village music project in 2019, followed by a concert at the Victory Hall on the 18th May. The project would be open to all villagers and the desire is to encourage a greater involvement in a range of music and musical instruments from all age ranges and a wide audience from across Thorner. To have some lasting legacies of ongoing involvement with music is envisaged by the group. The concert is intended to showcase the new-found talent. Whilst the TCF committee liked the idea, it concluded that the group had submitted a bid for sponsorship of an idea rather than for support of a detailed plan. TCF may have felt more supportive had a detailed plan for the project been included in the bid, for example, showing proof of support, clarity on materials and instruments required and full details of costs of all the elements. Given the unknowns, hence the risk-element, TCF was unwilling to support the Community Choir’s bid on this occasion. No funding was allocated.

Cricket Club – bid request £3,778                                  Grant awarded: £0
Purpose – Electronic Scoreboard
Thorner Mexborough Cricket Club is long-established in the village. It currently has 36 senior members who play in two teams in the Wetherby League and 21 regular junior members. The existing scoreboard is in need of some repair and refurbishment. The bid submission suggested that the addition of an electronic scoreboard would positively increase the perception of the club, could help attract new players and would make the job of scoring easier. The TCF committee thought it a worthwhile project for the Cricket Club to refurbish the scoreboard. However, the added value claimed by the club by the addition of an electronic scoreboard was questionable to the committee. It was not seen as sufficient evidence to justify the comparatively large outlay being requested from the TCF grant. It was agreed that supporting this bid would not be best-use of TCF funds. The Cricket Club has applied for TCF grant-funding every year since the Community Fund’s inception in 2003 and has been successful in 12 of those 15 years. On this occasion the bid was not supported.

Junior Youth Club – bid request £200                             Grant awarded: £200
Purpose – Arts and Crafts project
TCF has a strong history of supporting the Junior Youth Club from its annual grant. The club does invaluable work with its 8-13 year old members. The bid was to provide arts and crafts sessions with a Christmas theme, at three of its weekly meetings leading up to Christmas. Funding provided from the TCF grant would fund a tutor and the required materials. The TCF committee applauded the excellent work done by the volunteers and staff of the Junior Youth Club and happily supported the bid in full.

Residents’ Association – bid request £500                  Grant awarded: £599
Purpose – A Cow Topiary
The small group of volunteers who work together to keep the green at the top of the village attractive were recognised by TCF. They receive a small annual grant from Leeds City Council (LCC) towards this work. Shaun the Sheep was the property of LCC. and the group was not permitted to take on its maintenance: it was removed last year by LCC. The group would like to purchase a topiary of their own which they would be responsible for looking after. They have found one that would be sturdy and requiring little intervention. TCF agreed that it would like to support the bid as it is aware that Shaun the Sheep was well liked in the village and a replacement topiary should also provide a positive community feature for the top green in the village. The green is in a prominent position and, like Shaun, the topiary cow would be seen and appreciated by Thorner residents as well as by all travellers passing through the village. The group was asked to clarify which of their submitted quotations they were intending to purchase ahead of the TCF funding being finalised, as none of the quotations matched their bid completely. The Residents’ Association confirmed that the larger topiary would be the most suitable. Based on this information TCF was able to confirm its willingness to fund this purchase in full.
TCF would like to suggest that, once in place, the group should hold a competition to name the cow: perhaps through the school or the Village Newsletter.

Tennis Club – bid request £20,640                     Grant awarded: £20,640
Purpose – Resurface the courts
The club is large, with 70 members, from the range of age groups. They have not made a bid to TCF since 2008 but have said for a number of years that they would eventually be asking TCF for money to re-surface their two courts. They have submitted the bid this year. It is 100% compliant, thorough and comprehensive. The club has provided details of its five-year plan which is impressive and well planned, including where other funding sources are to be approached for future aspects of the plan. Given their large membership the club has had relatively little funding from TCF over the years. One proviso we would like to raise with the group is for them to work with the village Bonfire Group to ensure the new courts are not at risk of damage from the annual bonfire and fireworks. TCF was happy to support the bid in full.

Victory Hall – bid request £1,680                                       Grant awarded: £0
Purpose – A De-fibrillator
A thorough and well presented bid was received. It was encouraging to note that the recent kitchen upgrade had been paid from hall-hire receipts. Their bid for a de-fibrillator has arisen for health and safety reasons, given the range of activities and events now occurring at the Victory Hall, covering all age ranges. The hall is also in close proximity to the Bowling Club and the Tennis Club, so could be also utilised by those groups, as well as anyone else in the village, should the need arise. Whilst the TCF was supportive of the proposal to have a de-fibrillator at the Victory Hall it did not feel it was appropriate for TCF to provide the funding. Given the Victory Hall’s healthy bank balance it was felt it could either choose to pay for the unit from its own funds or to fund-raise specifically for this piece of equipment by raising donations from users of the hall – TCF felt it was a cause that users of the Hall would readily donate to. The Victory Hall has received large amounts of TCF funding over the years, on this occasion no TCF grant funding was allocated.

Thorner Community Fund Committee.
December 2018