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Funding for deprived areas back on track

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:36 05 July 2010

THERE was a ray of light for a neighbourhood management group this week, after a cash-strapped council agreed a "revised budget."

Just over two months ago, The Journal revealed that more than £500,000 of funding for Lowestoft Together - which was earmarked as going towards the awarding of grants to local organisations in deprived areas of the town - had been suspended after analysis of the council's accounts had shown a possible shortfall of nearly £5m.

THERE was a ray of light for a neighbourhood management group this week, after a cash-strapped council agreed a “revised budget.”

Just over two months ago, The Journal revealed that more than £500,000 of funding for Lowestoft Together - which was earmarked as going towards the awarding of grants to local organisations in deprived areas of the town - had been suspended after analysis of the council's accounts had shown a possible shortfall of nearly £5m.

At the time, the council reiterated their stance that they were “fully committed” to Lowestoft Together.

And this week, Julie Fitzgerald, communications officer for Waveney District Council, said: “Waveney District Council did not take lightly the decision to suspend funding for Lowestoft Together. It had anticipated a temporary freeze until November 30, but at a meeting on October 15, a revised budget was agreed early.

“All projects for which funding was committed prior to the suspension are still being honoured and the board now has both revenue and capital funding available for the remainder of this financial year.”

After being allocated around £4m over a period of four years, through Go-East, the Lowestoft Together initiative has pumped more than £1m into the nine most deprived “super output” areas in Waveney, with more than 20 projects being completed in this time.

And amid fears for the future survival of the group, and other projects, this week's move could lead to further development in the future.

“In addition, the council has taken this opportunity to put Lowestoft Together on a more sustainable footing for the future - beyond the four-year life of the project,” added Ms Fitzgerald.

“It hopes to do this by incorporating the funding within the council's base budget for 2009/10 and beyond.”

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