An extra £500,000 is to be given to a community hub in Whitnash after the deal was agreed by members of Warwick District Council’s executive committee this week.
The new hub in Acre Close Park is set to include a community centre, office space for Whitnash Town Council, new library and a police station. Healthcare facilities and retail units could also be incorporated.
But figures drawn up by building surveyors highlighted a shortfall of nearly £650,000 - nearly 30 per cent of the entire £2.2m project - due to increased construction costs, inflation and the need to relocate the football and rugby pitches on the site.
Whitnash Town Council is to looking to borrow £250,000 rather than a planned £100,000 to meet some of the deficit while the district councillors agreed to double their stake in the scheme - £500,000 was previously agreed in June 2017. Council tax payers in Whitnash will see their precept increase by just under nine per cent adding an extra £4.95 to their bill each year for 25 years for a property in band D.
Portfolio holder for health and community protection Cllr Andrew Thompson (Con Newbold), said it was an exciting scheme and another example of where investments were being made in community and leisure centres.
“There is a sporting element to this,” he explained. “The leisure side of things are doing really well in Leamington, Kenilworth and Warwick but we also care about the leisure and community facilities that Whitnash has. We are a district of four towns and we should always remember that.”
Cllr Peter Whiting (Con Abbey) also backed the extra investment. He said: “This illustrates the way in which this council is frequently viewed as the funder of last resort for community projects that can’t raise money elsewhere and I think that is only right and proper because it is a valuable community service we provide.
“The funds are coming from the community projects reserve and that is a fund we have been able to top up every year with money from the New Homes Bonus Scheme.”