Charity groups across Midhurst and Petworth are given a cash boost

GOOD causes across the Midhurst and Petworth area have been given a welcome boost thanks to nearly £5,000 worth of grants from West Sussex County Council.

The north Chichester county local committee agreed to award sums of money to organisations including the Hampers Green Community Centre and the Petworth Community Garden.

Councillor Michael Brown, who represents Fernhurst, Janet Duncton for Petworth, Sandra James for the Bourne ward and Gordon McAra, member for Midhurst, decided which groups would be given money.

They granted the Hanover Band Foundation £261 to purchase musical instruments to lend to children. Chairman Michael Brown said it would be ‘money well spent’.

Nicholls Farm in Kirdford applied for a grant for £3,100 in order to buy a replacement snow plough. The committee granted the farm £1,550, adding the farmer was ‘valued by the community’.

Cllr Brown said: “We will grant £1,550 if the farm gives assurances the plough will be used first to clear public highways then private roads.” Cllr Duncton added: “The farm has had a snow plough from the committee for the past 40 years.”

Petworth Community Garden applied for £6,579.17 towards the cost of installing solar panels for the allotment shed, hiring a cookery school and teaching staff, vehicle insurance, staff costs, a website update and various materials.

Councillors gave the garden £2,400, adding it is a ‘worthwhile project’. Cllr Brown said: “They do a great deal of work helping the disabled, which is close to the heart of the county council.”

He added some of the things the group asked for did not ‘qualify’ for grant money, however the committee would cover the cost of solar panels. Cllr Brown said the committee would offer £2,400, though this sum could be ‘topped up’ at the end of the year if there were leftover funds available.

“I would encourage them to put forward another application if it was capital not revenue,” he said.

The Hampers Green Community Centre was given a grant for £300, while Midhurst Together was given £250 towards the costs of printing a pilot edition of a community booklet.

Midhurst Together asked for £500, which was turned down by the committee.

However, cllr McAara said: “Midhurst Together is an online website for the community.

“A lot of elderly people in Midhurst don’t use the internet and some villages don’t even have very good internet access. They are trying to see if a booklet would be a sustainable alternative. I’m happy to support this.”

Cllr Brown said: “There is still around £10-11,000 available to allocate for any organisations that could benefit.

“It would be nice to think we could be as generous as possible.”