Manton to receive a double dose of CIL funding

Written by Neil Goodwin on .

Manton Village Hall as it is presentlyManton Village Hall as it is presentlyManton is on the verge of benefitting from Marlborough's recent development projects through successful applications for CIL funding - for a contribution towards the refurbishment of the Village Hall and a further contribution towards the cost of redeveloping the Play area in Jubilee Field..

CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) is a planning charge, levied on developers 'to help deliver infrastructure to support the development of the area'.

At Tuesday's (24 April) meeting of the full Town Council, the Manton Village Hall committee presented their application for funding towards the refurbishment of the Village Hall, a project estimated to cost £58,000 that has been running for some while and supported with many fund-raising events (such as MantonFest).  They were seeking a CIL award of £17,000 - which would provide an important (and very welcome) step towards reaching the target.

The Council voted to agree the request.

Nicki Evans, chair of the Manton Village Hall committee was full of thanks to the Town Council for the award.  "The Village hall committee are obviously delighted with the Town Council’s decision to allocate some funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy.  This will make a considerable difference to our fundraising activities and allows us to approach the refurbishment project with confidence."

The Village Hall may be over a century old but it is used near-continuously, every day and normally by several different groups from the Manton community and way beyond.  It is a community asset for the Marlborough area and the committee aim to keep it as accessible as possible by keeping the hire rates as low as possible.

The refurbishment will ensure that this well-used old building is kept fit for purpose, making it more environmentally friendly and 'future proofed' as far as is possible.  Click on the plan below to enlarge:



Councillors also heard from the Manton Community Outdoors group who were seeking funding for a necessary upgrade to the Jubilee Field playground.

Manton Jubilee Field with the current play area over to the rightManton Jubilee Field with the current play area over to the rightThis project has already secured approval from the Town Council as it is listed in the Town Council Action Plan (AS2).  The proposal is to upgrade the current play area at Jubilee Field (land maintained and held in trust by the Town Council), which is the only play area serving the western side of the Marlborough parish.

The Council's Amenities and Open Spaces Committee have resolved to support the project and the group are seeking £30,000 of CIL funding.

At this stage there isn't enough in the CIL 'pot' (totalling approximately £37,000) to fund both projects fully, but as the timescale for this project is longer than that for the Village Hall the Council agreed to approve this grant in two phases.  Firstly to 'ringfence' what is left in the CIL fund after the Village Hall award has been paid out, with the balance forthcoming later in the year when more CIL funds become available from developments within the Town.

Whilst the packed committee room were in near unanimous support for the Village Hall refurbishment there was some debate over the merit and extent of the Jubilee Field playground project.  Some present claimed that they had only just been made aware of the project, although there had been door-to-door canvassing and a small pic was published in the latest Manton Village Newsletter with a request for comments.

Although CIL grant applications are open to groups aross the town there was some dissent regarding Manton being the applicants for and beneficiary from two awards.  Charmaine Bartlett, a College Fields resident asked "How can the Town Council can justify large CIL grants to two projects in Manton, which is a very small village, whereas there are no equivalent facilities in the Barton Park or College Fields development, which has a considerably greater population.  If these are to be the only community provisions in the West of Marlborough, how will access be facilitated for those who live in the area - parking and safe crossing of the A4".

The Mayor, on behalf of the Council replied that she was not aware of any application from Barton Park for a play area.