Milton Country Park is being provided with up to £50,000 by the District Council, to ensure residents can keep enjoying the green spaces and paths.
The grant will include a £25,000 payment now and the option of the second half from September. It is being made available to the Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust charity, which runs the 95-acre Park on South Cambridgeshire District Council’s behalf.
Since the main sources of income – the car park and café – were closed to help with social distancing requirements and the chargeable sports and activity programme also stopped Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust has furloughed staff to keep costs down and is struggling to meet running costs.
The Trust has not been eligible for the Government’s business support schemes as it does not pay business rates – a key criteria for the main grant schemes announced so far. A Crowdfunding scheme is currently running and has reached almost £9,000 but more help is needed to keep the Park open. This led to the Trust approaching the Council.
In 2008, the Council handed the lease for the Country Park to the Trust. Should the trust not be able to continue running it, then the management would revert to be the Council’s responsibility.
At the Full Council meeting today (Thursday 21 May) Councillors voted to award the grant funding.