Curzon cash under threat

CASH conscious councillors are threatening to withdraw funding for a project to restore Clevedon's historic Curzon Cinema to its former glory - in a bid to reduce

CASH conscious councillors are threatening to withdraw funding for a project to restore Clevedon's historic Curzon Cinema to its former glory - in a bid to reduce council tax bills.Clevedon Town Council has held £50,000 in its earmarked reserves as part of a match funding agreement for the cinema's bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for cash to revamp the 95-year-old picture house.But despite the bid going in two years ago, changes in the way the HLF distribute money have meant a decision has been delayed.Now councillors say unless lottery cash is secured within the next 12 months, the funding will be put back into the council pot and used to reduce local tax bills.Clevedon Town Council finance and general policy committee chairman Carl Francis-Pester said: "No one should take it as read that a grant given by the council will be held over for perpetuity. This has been the situation for a number of years and we can't keep going back to the taxpayer asking them for more money each year when we have cash stashed away, being unused, in reserves. We are not walking away from the Curzon and when it does receive lottery funding it can always re-approach us and we can look at ways of raising the money when it is needed."Bosses at the Curzon say they are currently in the process of reapplying for money from the HLF.Curzon general manager Jon Webber said: "We have a new management committee and trustees who are currently reviewing how we get funding for the project and will be reapplying to the HLF this Spring."We have also been prioritising the work which needs to be done and are now planning a phased programme of repairs."Our first priority is the roof and we have launched a campaign to raise funds."We will be talking again to Clevedon Town Council and look forward to its ongoing support for the cinema."This year Clevedon Town Council has set its precept at £190,450, a reduction of eight per cent on last year.


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