Thorner Community Fund – Awards for 2014

Thorner Community Fund


Allocation of Thorner Community Fund Grant 2014


Following the 2014 Leeds festival:

Donations received for residents’ tickets, plus a very kind donation from Festival Republic of £7,500 allowed us to set aside a fund of £40,000 to benefit the community of Thorner.

All village groups, clubs and societies were invited to apply for an allocation from this fund. Of the twenty seven groups written to, thirteen made applications.

The grant meeting was held on 22 December 2014. It was attended by the following Thorner Community Fund executive committee members:

Melvin Benn (Festival Republic)
Annette Carr
Mark Darley (Chair)
Mary Fox
Alistair Foster
Gillian Riley
Wayne Young

This year we invited the following local people to join us for the grant allocation meeting, as an extended committee:

Alan Haigh (apologies received)
Rachel Lane-Fox (Bramham Park)
Alister Turnbull

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 streams exploredThe executive committee would like to express their sincere thanks to Melvin, Rachel and Alister for their involvement and contributions to the assessment process and especially for attending a meeting so close to Christmas. Our sincere condolences to Alan who could not attend due to personal circumstances.  The following is a brief resumé of the rationale applied, the decisions made and the amounts allocated. We hope that this may be of interest to unsuccessful applicants as a reference for future bids.  Following the allocation process a small balancing sum is retained in the TCF account.

    Art Group – bid request £300                                                         Grant awarded : £300

    A request was received to fund additional art tutors. The group is well supported and consists of predominantly retired Thorner residents. They make good use of the Parish Centre. The group self funds mainly by subscription but with a small amount of fund raising. This pays for most of the tuition and art demonstrations the group organises. A top up was requested to complete the year’s program. Given the educational aspect of the group’s activity TCF supported the bid.

    Brownies – bid request £562                                                           Grant awarded: Nil

    The brownies submitted a request to fund part of a £812.00 cycling project. This comprised several elements, building on the legacy of the Tour de France which TCF liked. Within the costings hired travel and lunch where included. TCF felt, this was not within the criteria for use of the fund. The committee believed that cycling could possibly be equally well promoted within the village, perhaps with the use of a professional instructor. 

    Thorner Mexborough Cricket Club – bid request £1,878            Grant awarded:£1,878

    TMCC’s bid was for new replacement practice nets. The old ones are now not fit forpurpose. The club has applied for external funding for new non-turf pitches which will be used for mid week matches. The practice nets would create a high quality all weather practice facility when used in conjunction with the artificial pitch. It is also hoped this provision will encourage a revival of the clubs junior team. If the funding for the artificial turf was not secured the new nets would be equally functional on the grass pitch. TMCC did not secure TCF funding last year. TCF agreed the club had selected the best option from the quotes received and were happy to support this bid in full.

    Friends of Thorner School PTA – bid request £6,301                 Grant awarded: £6,000

    FOTPTA had not received any TCF funding since 2011. The request was specifically for 16x iPad mini’s to complement the 8x iPads previously purchased by the PTA. The bid also included a Macbook air (master unit) and a lock, charge and sync unit. This equipment would be likely to benefit the whole school; in reception class they would be used as an assessment tool particularly and additionally throughout the school by children with special educational needs. Computing is an important part of the new National Curriculum Framework introduced in Sept 2014.

    TCF recognises the importance of good Ofsted reports and not only the consequences for school but also the community too. Historically TCF have given much support to the provision of peripatetic music tuition. This bid to purchase ICT equipment to help young people received our broad support. However, given that the usage was targeted at primary school pupils, concerns were raised about the specific request for (single manufacturer) iPads as opposed to (open market, more accessible) android/Micosoft system which may offer better value for money, particularly when taking into account replacement costs.

    As a committee we had difficulty sanctioning TCF money for a premium product, particularly when there are realistically feasible alternatives available.  Consideration was also expressed over out of school accessibility for some pupils if an expensive tablet is chosen and possibly a product lock-in.  The choice of the equipment is for the PTA to make but we would ask this is researched very carefully. 

    Guides – bid request £999                                                                   Grant awarded: Nil

    A bid was initially submitted requesting a new laptop computer (Apple Macbook Pro). It was suggested to the leader following a pre-meeting appraisal of the bids that this group’s bid may not be honoured. The bid was re-submitted with more detail. This committee looks for tangible benefit to each group. Given the tasks that this equipment was proposed to be used for, other than some photo sharing, the TCF could not see any advantage or justification for the premium product as opposed to a basic laptop.

    TCF would prefer to support items for the Guides that would enhance the essence of “Guiding”.

    Methodist Church – bid request £425                                             Grant awarded: £425

    TCF received a request for funds to pay for the repair of a persistently damp external wall of the church. A new stud wall with a waterproof membrane was to be the solution. It was a straight forward request and was agreed.

    Over 60s Association – bid request £1,000                                   Grant awarded: £ Nil

    Money was requested to contribute to a regular exercise class in the Over 60’s building.  This was given due consideration and TCF was sympathetic to the sensitivity of senior people when exercising. However it was agreed with the numbers involved unfortunately it was not a viable proposition for TCF to fund. It was also noted that low impact exercise classes are offered at the Victory Hall which maybe of help.

    Parish Centre – bid request £12,000                                         Grant awarded: £12,000

    As part of the final phase in the Parish Centre refurbishment, a bid was received for replacement of the building’s windows. There had been difficulty securing multiple quotations for the works given the nature and shape of the glazing, however the committee were happy under the circumstances to accept the bid as was. Also with a very recent and major change in legislation with regard to renovations of listed buildings the committee would strongly urge the working group to investigate if this was applicable here. TCF has given much support to the refurbishment project of this building in the past and are delighted to see the building being transformed into an integral part of the village’s facilities. The windows will make a huge improvement to the functionality of the venue hopefully eliminating condensation and providing energy savings too. The group were asking for approximately 33% of the total cost, the remainder being met by the group’s own fund raising and substantial funds already accumulated and designated to this project. The committee agreed this was a good use of TCF funds and supported the full bid.

    Pre-School – bid request £4,000                                                     Grant awarded: £ Nil

    An application was made for fortnightly garden maintenance, plants, seeds, compost, fencing and rubber chippings. TCF asked for additional information to support this bid some of which was not forthcoming. In the absence of this the committee felt that the size of the garden did not justify the cost of maintenance proposed. TCF were pleased to find the group in a financially stable position. It was decided in this instance that the committee would not support the bid.

    Scouts Group – bid request £845.22                                         Grant awarded: £845.22

    This group now comprises of over 50 Scouts, Cubs and Beavers. A detailed bid wasreceived for carefully considered and specific camping equipment. The group has previously received funds from the TCF for tents and cooking equipment and this bid was to complement their existing equipment. The Scouts also make this equipment available to other village groups for a small charge. The camping aspect for the group is an important activity which attracts new members. TCF were pleased to support this bid in full.

    St Peters Church – bid request £4,000 over 3 years               Grant awarded: £12,000

    A bid was received from the Parochial Church Council for replacement of the external guards to the stained glass windows. This renewal had been identified by the church’s quinquennial review. Quotes for this work amounted to £22,000. The PCC requested that this bid be considered as a one off payment with the work being undertaken up front or as a 3 year project of £4,000 per annum to complement the church’s own fund raising efforts and to have the TCF reassurance of support to complete the project. The TCF committee cannot promise to allocate money over future years as we do not know for sure if it will be available. A decision was made to allocate the full amount of £12,000 this year and for the church to make full use of the TCF contribution in 2015. It is understood the PCC will be raising the additional £10,000 over the next 3 years to complete the project.

    The Victory Hall – bid request £7,391                                         Grant awarded: £6,246

    A three part bid was received from the Victory Hall Committee:

    1. a) Folding tables £1,145
    2. b) Chairs £1,550
    3. c) Sound system £4,695

    TCF committee have always been very supportive of the Victory Hall and intend to continue to be so. The venue is now an excellent facility but TCF committee realise there is further work to be done. We debated the issue of the bid for tables and chairs and it was agreed these items should perhaps be dealt with as part of normal running costs. Given the heavy use and inevitable wear and tear it was suggested, particularly in the case of non residents’ bookings, that the VH committee consider increasing their hire charge to ensure the creation of a replacement fund for breakages: or perhaps a specific additional charge for tables and chairs.

    TCF committee agreed that a good quality sound system was essential, given international artists perform there, particularly at the annual Comedy Festival. It was strongly suggested most would not be happy to work with a second rate pa system. Also mentioned was the lack of Wifi in the building. The extended TCF committee were very keen to see the installation of Wi-Fi progressed and keen to consider future funding of this. £4,696 of the TCF was allocated to the sound system request intended as a contribution towards an industry standard installation. This equipment purchase must be fully researched to ensure the most suitable option with user friendliness for hirers, specification for the venue and its broad use taken into account.

    TCF committee is aware of the hall’s depleted contingency funds, due to the external ground works phase recently been completed. They also appreciated the immediate requirement for additional seating for some forthcoming events therefore £1,550 was allocated towards the chairs. The bid for the tables was rejected.

    Thorner Youth Club – bid request £300                                         Grant awarded: £300

    This group provides well structured activities to a wide cross section of our village’s young people. It keeps these children engaged and occupied and presently has an all time high membership offering a vital community facility open to all. TCF committee recognised the work this group’s leaders do and were delighted to be able to support them with the full amount requested as a contribution towards their activities.

    M J Darley   14th Jan 2015.