Cause for optimism on advice centre funding

Bute Advice Centre is awaiting news of an application to the Big Lottery Fund for financial support.
Bute Advice Centre is awaiting news of an application to the Big Lottery Fund for financial support.

THE chairman of Bute Advice Centre says he is “more confident now than ever” of an end to the service’s financial worries.

Bill McQueen told members of Bute Community Council on Wednesday that the result of an application by the centre to the Big Lottery Fund is expected to be announced soon, and that he was optimistic the news would be good.

The centre has had to turn to the local community to help plug a nine-month funding gap after its previous lottery award ran out, while a short-term grant of £10,000 from the Awards for All scheme has further helped to pay the centre’s operating costs and salaries.

Argyll and Bute Council also gave the centre a grant of £4,000 to carry out work on the homelessness problem on the island, while a firm of insolvency practitioners made a payment of £300 in recognition of the work done by the centre’s staff on the case of one particular client.

Members of the public have supported the centre by donating £705 at a recent bag-packing day at the Co-operative’s Rothesay supermarket, while a raffle at Big Dougie’s Family Party at the Pavilion in April and a coffee morning in early May raised more than £500 between them.

Mr McQueen told BCC members: “There was a gap of nine months after our last round of lottery funding ran out, but we have filled that gap and we are very grateful for all the support we have been given by the community – we couldn’t have bridged that gap without them.

“There has been nothing firm yet about new funding for the centre, but I’m more confident about the future now than ever, and I have every reason to believe we will be very pleased with the result of our application.”