Sidmouth council hands out grants

Sidmouth Town Council chairman Stuart Hughes is picrtured with some of the recipients of cheques tha

Sidmouth Town Council chairman Stuart Hughes is picrtured with some of the recipients of cheques that were handed out at EDDC's Knowle Hq on Monday evening. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 3738-17-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on MyPhotos24. - Credit: Archant

Civic leaders presented more than £11,000 in grants to a diverse range of worthy causes in Sidmouth at the annual town meeting.

Representatives of the 12 organisations collected their awards from town councillors, and some explained how the money will be spent.

The 1st Sid Valley Scout group, Sidmouth Science Festival and the Sid Valley Food Bank gave presentations on the work they do and their plans for the future.

Council chairman Stuart Hughes said: “We have a great team, and we certainly have Sidmouth at heart.”

He added that any other organisations need only apply to the council to be considered for a grant.

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Nancy Craven and Brian Manwaring from the 1st Sid Vale Scouts thanked the council for their £1,000 grant, which will go towards building a permanent base.

The scout group has 140 members – up 16 per cent on last year, whereas across East Devon the numbers only grew by one per cent.

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Group scout leader Nancy said the field they use in Salcombe Regis was ideal in the summer, but they need a single, reliable site to use in the winter.

Brian said they had planning permission for a new hut, and the current funding push will get them on the power grid and get the building process moving.

The Sidmouth Science Festival will return in October with a £2,000 boost from the town council.

As well as wanting to be bigger and better than last year’s inaugural celebration, organiser Dave Bramley is challenging organisations in the town to help out in new and unusual ways.

He hopes it can grow and grow, and is also looking for funding at the regional and national level.

The festival has a strong focus on bringing together the science and arts world – this year Dave is looking for a group who can knit him a brain.

“Science teaches us to be inquisitive, and there’s so much beauty to be inquisitive around here,” he said.

As well as encouraging other groups to get involved with the science festival, Dave said his team would do what they can to get involved with the Tour of Britain, the Devon stage of which will start in Sidmouth.

The Sid Valley Food Bank received a donation of £500, which chairman Ian Skinner said would let them offer fresh bread and milk as well as the current non-perishable items on offer.

The charity was set up in November and has helped support as many as 94 households.

It now has a manager, in the form of Lois Swarbrick, who oversees the sorting of donations, directs volunteers and provides continuity for those who attend.

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