A NUMBER of organisations in East Cornwall are set to benefit from a cash windfall, thanks to a recent decision by Callington Town Council on who will receive funding from a community cash pot.

Community groups and organisations in the parish were invited to apply to the council for funding for projects that will benefit Callington from a £25,600 community benefit payment the council received following the installation of the Haye Road solar farm in 2013.

The council was ‘overwhelmed’ with the response it received, having more than £60,000-worth of funding applications to decide upon.

The council thoroughly assessed each application and members met at a meeting to debate the recommendations.

The recommendations were then presented to the finance and general purposes committee at the end of last month for a formal vote, from which nine groups were chosen to benefit.

The beneficiaries were Callington Social Club, which received £2,000; Callington Primary School, £4,000; Kick Start for youth project, £3,000; Callington Bowling Club, £2,000; Tamar Valley Health Patient Participation Group, £530; Rotary Club of Callington Memory Café, £900; Callington Town Forum (CIC), £2,000; Callington Town Council’s Christmas lights fund, £5,000 and Callington Cricket Club £2,000.

Town portreeve Cllr Andrew Long said: ‘We were guided by the legal department of Cornwall Council which said the money had to be used for Callington-based organisations and projects that would benefit the town.

‘We chose to support the youth project because Cornwall Council is withdrawing from youth service provision and some groups we have supported can use the money as “unlocking funds” to help them get other funding, such as the Town Forum, which will now be able to unlock further funding to enable the start of projects for the town.’

Secretary of Callington Social Club Janette Olver said the club was pleased to receive the funding: ‘The money will be used towards paying for a new roof for the club.

‘It’s desperately needed as it has been leaking for quite a while. The roof will come down if we don’t get it sorted soon. The quote we got was for £4,000 and we still need to find the rest of the money but this money is a brilliant help to us.’

Deputy chair of Callington Town Forum Peter Sulstan said: ‘The forum is on the point of converting to a community interest company (CIC), which will give the principals in the forum confidence to go forward and seek larger amounts. This is seed money to help us seek out more money or to be used for professional services, etc.’

The Town Forum already has a number of successful projects under its belt such as initiating the popular Christmas market and the Kelliwik Festival and bringing more plants into the town to brighten it up. It hopes to be able to do more for the town once it has become a CIC.

The forum is keen to hear from anyone who may have any ideas for projects that might benefit Callington.

The council’s cash pot was given as a community benefit payment from the building of the solar farm. At the time of the application, the town council believed the original community benefit from the development would total £625,000 over a 25-year period. However, when a different company took over the application, it only offered to give a one-off payment of £25,000 for the town’s benefit.

The solar farm development was recommended for refusal by the town council but was approved by Cornwall Council in 2011.

The town council tried to fight for the greater amount but was told that because there was not a unilateral agreement in place, the company was not obliged to offer any money.

Now the council has allocated the money to the deserving groups, a balance of £4,000 is left, which the council will keep as a ‘contingency’ to allow for further projects to be funded that may evolve, namely suitable schemes that complement the Neighbourhood Plan and the ethos of the council.