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Funding for 3rd sector culture and leisure groups decided

20th November 2016

Highland Council's third sector culture and leisure funding until 2018/19 has been agreed by Members of the Education, Children and Adult Services Committee according to Council priorities as previously set in December 2014.

Members have agreed grant allocations of £1,053,409 for 2017/18 and £493,821 for 2018/19.

Cllr Drew Millar, Chair of the Education, Children and Adult Services Committee said: "We have given some protection to rural areas and particularly acknowledge the importance of rural swimming pools such as at Mallaig, Poolewe and North Coast (Bettyhill). We have also given protection to village halls to a certain extent and are trying to retain protection to the work of Sports Councils through High Life Highland and Adult Learning by combining funds into a central pot administered by High Life Highland which we think is the best way forward."

He added: "A decision on future funding of Youth Highland has been deferred to allow further negotiations on how the council might provide ‘back room' support or assistance with premises. A report on a proposed Youth Highland funding settlement will come back for Members consideration either to the December meeting of The Highland Council or the January meeting of Education, Children and Adult Services Committee."

Cllr Millar said: "Although we have made these decisions today, there are very uncertain financial times ahead for local government. Therefore, I will be inviting group leaders to send representatives to a short term working group to investigate a better way of allocating funds to organisations."

Members were informed that funding for Aviemore Highland resort could not be considered for 2018/19 financial year as their current contract with High Life Highland finishes in 2017/18 and that future funding cannot be considered without a contract in place.

To see the figures for years 16/17, 17,18 and 18/19 go to Appendix 3 in the report -
http://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/3777/education_children_and_adult_services_committee

The funding issues for the third sector and all sectors need to be put in the context of the drasticaly reducing funds available to councils and more on this can be read in the Pre Budget statement debated at Highalnd council on 27 October 2016. See item 11 at -
http://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/3763/highland_council

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