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Fury as Whitehall starts to backtrack on funding
EVESHAM’S oldest buildings may lose out on hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding after possible changes to the New Homes Bonus (NHB) scheme were revealed by central government.
At a meeting of the town council on Monday, members were told £250,000 worth of NHB funding, which had been earmarked for projects including the repair of the town’s Abbey Bell Tower and the Almonry Museum, may not be forthcoming.
The scheme saw Wychavon District Council allocated money by central government for allowing housing development in the area.
Wychavon then asked town councils such as Evesham to decide on which charities, organisations or good causes should receive the money.
So far, about £54,000 of NHB money has been allocated in Evesham, with a further £10,000 to go on the town’s war memorial and £24,245 for Wallace House, leaving £10,000 still available in the pot.
However, the £250,000 which had been promised as a sweetener for new development may now be cut or reallocated by central government and while the consultation takes place Wychavon is unable to approve any requests for funding. The announcement was met with anger by councillors who said if the town was to accommodate major housing developments, it should reap some reward.
Coun Martin Hammon said: “We were given a bribe saying this could be spent. I just think this is absolutely appalling. We have taken the brunt of housing.”
Meanwhile, the Abbey Bell Tower fund-raising campaign committee and those behind the Almonry project, said they were still hopeful of receiving some money.
Tonia Collett, manager of the Almonry said: “It means we will have to look elsewhere for funding.”
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