Big grant boost for urgent work at Horley pavilion

Horley Town Council has hailed a hefty grant of £30,000 towards the “urgent” work needed to be carried out at the town's Innes Pavilion. The council said it was “delighted” that its recent bid for a grant had succeeded and an award of £30,000 had been agreed by the Gatwick Airport Community Trust.

The trust, funded by Gatwick Airport Limited, but with independent trustees, was set up as part of the legal arrangements between West Sussex County Council, Crawley Borough Council and Gatwick Airport Limited.

It awards grants every year for such charitable purposes as the trustees determine within the area of benefit, covering parts of East and West Sussex, Surrey and Kent. The annual grants programme was launched in 2002, and since then the trust has awarded grants totalling well over £1 million to more than 1,300 local voluntary community groups and organisations. Welcoming the grant award, Horley Town Council stated: “This will help towards the considerable costs incurred in replacing the roof at the Innes Pavilion.

“The work will ensure that the Innes Pavilion can continue to be used as a much-needed community facility for Horley.”

Councillors were given the go-ahead for funding to be sought for the “urgent” work in October.

The town council discussed the need to replace the Innes Pavilion roof at Court Lodge at its Extraordinary Full Council Meeting. Having put the work out to tender, councillors heard the expected total cost of the project would be £150,000.

In view of what the council called the pavilion roof's “poor and unsafe state,” councillors directed that borrowing approval of £85,000 should be sought from the Department for Communities and Local Government, to enable a short-term loan to be made from the Public Works Loan Board, the body which offers loans to local authorities. Stating that the remaining amount would be funded from its reserves, the council said: “The work will ensure that the Innes Pavilion can be used as a much-needed community facility for Horley.” The range of projects the Gatwick Airport Community Trust has supported have helped the young, the elderly and the disabled, the arts, sporting facilities, environmental improvement and conservation, improvements to community facilities and volunteering. The demand for grants is always far greater than the funds available and the normal level of grants ranges from £1,000 to £5,000. Occasional larger grants may be considered if the impact is targeted to benefit a significant number of people and is considered to make a valuable and noticeable difference longer term. Website: www.gact.org.uk

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