ANDOVER town councillors have made a decision on the most recent grant applications received by the authority- which sees two community organisations awarded funds, and one lose out.

Members considered recommendations from their grants panel at a full council meeting on Wednesday (March 23).

Picket Piece Baby and Toddler group secured £255 in order to be able to relaunch.

The funds will help to cover the cost of insurance and one month’s hall hire, as well as a stock of antibacterial gel and wipes to allow the group to operate in a Covid-safe way.

In its application, the group wrote: “The last year has been difficult and most new parents have missed groups like this, having a support network and a chance to meet, and speak to, other parents, not to mention all of the 'Lockdown babies' who have missed out on social interaction from an early age.

“The Residents' Association feels that the Baby & Toddler group is crucial for the village, in improving the mental health of parents and children in the village.”

The group applied for £340, but the council opted to side with the panel recommendation of £255.

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Meanwhile, councillors approved the maximum grant amount of £1,000 for Andover Youth Football Club.

The club hopes to purchase two inflatable 3v3 football pitches, with an overall aim of extending its provision of girls’ football.

Their widening access project, which will also see the club extend its advertising and purchase new goals, is estimated to cost more than £5,000 in total.

They had applied for £1,329.98 from the town council, but were awarded £1,000 as per the panel’s recommendation.

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However, an application received by A-Fest, an annual youth festival in the town, was rejected by members.

The organising team applied for the maximum grant of £1,000. They wrote: “The grant is needed to make sure that the event runs and that we can bring young people into the Town Centre, and link them with appropriate organisations, and build the communities in the town.

“During lockdown, isolation was a huge issue for so many young people, and this event is a way of rebuilding some of those bridges.”

The team had applied for £2,000, with the grant panel recommending £1,000 be awarded.

However, members chose not to approve the recommendation, by one vote.

Instead, they agreed to inform A-Fest that they can apply for £750 in separate funding, which has already been set aside as part of the town council’s newly-approved 2022/23 budget.

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