More time for Kenilworth Centre’s funding plea

The Kenilworth Centre
The Kenilworth Centre

The Kenilworth Centre has been given three months to make a case before decisions are made over the future of its biggest funding source.

Kenilworth Town Council, which has provided £30,000 a year to the community centre, last week rejected a proposal by the council’s finance committee to withdraw financial support over two years.

While we welcome this chance, we would still like the opportunity to make our case to the full council

John whitehouse

Instead, members agreed to review accounts and reports from the Abbey End trustees in October before any decisions are made.

The town council pledged to donate £30,000 over three years when the centre opened as a community-run organisation in 2012.

The amount was offered for a fourth year when trustees were unable to reach self-sustainability as planned.

But trustee John Whitehouse said without knowing what is expected, there is no way to plan for self-sufficiency and that clarity is needed.

“While we welcome this chance, we would still like the opportunity to make our case to the full council,” he said.

“When the council agreed to support us it was always the intent that it was a broader remit than just a building.

“Working with young people and the community is all part of it. One question we need to know is, do they still want to support that vision and find a way forward with us? The building itself can become self-sufficient, but supporting these schemes is a different matter altogether.”

At the town council meeting, a statement from Rev Andrew Atwood was read out, praising the work of the centre with young people.

Youth outreach services, classes for new mums, a dementia cafe and community radio are all offered.

The council agreed to reassess funding when reports from the centre showed losses of thousands of pounds.

Trustees took over the scheme after funding for youth services were cut by Warwickshire County Council - which now offers a peppercorn rent for the building.

It relies entirely on income from room rental, and grants to keep services running.