Funding row could close popular club

LEADERS of a popular Ipswich club which is facing an uncertain future today said the refusal to hand over an annual �50,000 grant was crippling its finances and activities.

LEADERS of a popular Ipswich club which is facing an uncertain future today said the refusal to hand over an annual �50,000 grant was crippling its finances and activities.

Ipswich Caribbean Association (ICA) yesterday held a protest meeting and launched a petition to try to save the club.

The association has run its community building in Woodbridge Road for 29 years but fears the borough council wants to use the site for a flats development.

ICA chairman Sylvan Carr said: “We have run the club since 1980 with no problems at all - it's a club for the whole community but we desperately need this grant to continue our activities.


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“We have had to cut people's hours to save money. Usually in summer we open our doors every day from 11am to 5pm for children's activities but this year we cannot do it. The refusal to hand over the grant is crippling us.”

Mr Carr said the council gave much less to the association now than it did in the early days when the grant was �78,000 plus extra money for other expenses.

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“We think there is a hidden agenda. The council have not spoken to us - there has been no meeting,” he said.

“We need to sort this out and so we hope people will sign the petition to show how concerned people are.”

The council has denied the delay in paying the grant is linked to future use of the building.

Nadia Cenci, communities portfolio holder on the executive, said the delay was to investigate the viability of the ICA before handing over council taxpayers' money.

Should the ICA building be saved? Write to Your Letters Evening Star 30 Lower Brook Street Ipswich IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters.eveningstar.co.uk

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