Agenda item

Match Funding Application - Diss Rugby Club (Agenda item 14)

Report of the Community Development Officer.


The Assistant Director of Comms & Communities introduced Mr Southgate and Mr Cracknell to Members and explained the reason for the report coming forward to the Audit Committee.


Mr Cracknell explained that Diss Rugby Club (DRC) had a substantial amount of members from the Breckland area. The club also benefited the district by operating a coaching outreach service to 20 schools, five of which lied within the vicinity of Breckland district.


The Club had been formed over 50 years ago and had, most of the time, been able to finance necessary improvements itself.  Plans had been drawn up for much improved facilities, including a larger kitchen.  Funding had so far been secured from a variety of organisations including a 15 year loan and a grant from the R.F.U (Rugby Football Union), £200k was expected to be raised by Club member pledges and £46k of that total had been offered from Breckland based benefactors.  The remaining balance of members’ pledges after completion of Phase 1 (forecast for May 2011 and estimated at £30k) would be used to fund phase 2, along with the secured funding from South Norfolk District Council, Mid-Suffolk District Council and the pending Match Funding Grant from Breckland Council (DRC was spread across these three District Councils).


Lady K Fisher who was the Ward Member for the Parish adjacent to Diss did know a number of youths from her area that played in the teams.   She thought it wonderful to have a rugby club of that calibre in the vicinity.


A Member was fully satisfied that DRC had met the criteria required for Breckland Match Funding.  He felt that clubs such as these should not be disenfranchised as long as there was clear delivery.


Another Member urged Members to support the grant funding as the benefit to young people was tremendous.


In response to a query with regard to the amount of funding, Members were informed that DRC hoped to get a further £30k from the R.F.U.


The Chairman felt that the Club was an advantage to Breckland as the facility was well run and had much support.


Referring to the options listed in the report, particularly in relation to option 3, Members felt that the criteria for Match Funding applications should not be changed subject to it being value for money for Breckland residents and each case should be judged on its merits.


The Chairman said that the Committee fully supported what the Club was trying to achieve and hoped that Breckland’s funding would make a difference.


Mr Cracknell thanked Members for their help and support.


RECOMMEND to Cabinet that:


1)     the funding application for Diss Rugby Football Club Match Funding totalling the amount of £20,000 be approved;


2)     no changes be made to the eligibility criteria for Match Funding applications; subject to it being value for money for Breckland residents;


3)     a protocol be implemented to ensure that the local authority within which the organisation is based matches or exceeds the grant requested from Breckland; and


4)     each case to be judged on its merits.


Supporting documents: