Haverhill Town Council keeps Haverhill history group afloat with £2,500 grant

Patrick Crouch with new book  by Haverhill local History Group that he has edited
Patrick Crouch with new book by Haverhill local History Group that he has edited

A community group has been granted the £2,500 funding it needs to stay afloat, with councillors even suggesting it could help to form a town museum one day.

The Haverhill and District Local History Group appealed to Haverhill Town Council for the cash it needed to make up the shortfall of it’s £4,350 annual rent at last Tuesday’s (january 29) meeting at the arts centre.

Councillors heard the group missed out on core funding from St Edmundsbury Council, but as it could apply again for such funding for the 2014/15 financial year the cash it needed now was just a short term fix.

Town clerk Will Austin suggested the council could work with the group the spruce up the town with informative displays in windows of empty shops – of which Superdrug will soon be one.

Cllr Phil French, who also serves on the borough council, said the grants panel aims for groups to become sustainable.

Cllr Maureen Byrne retorted: “There’s no point investing on a sliding scale then the group goes under as that’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“This group does a tremendous job in my view, it’s very good for the schools and if we had a town museum it would be a wonderful place to place them. We can’t let them go under under any circumstance.”

Cllr Roger André added: “This is an invaluable group as an educational resource as there are no other custodians of Haverhill’s history.

“We must support this otherwise we are not supporting Haverhill’s future as the future lies in the past.”

Cllr Betty McLatchy said the group would be increasingly important as Haverhill expands.

Patrick Crouch, a trustee of the group, said they would endeavour to publicise themselves more in parts of the town ‘where people do not come into the town and know nothing about Haverhill’.

Group chairman Roy Brazier and secretary David Pearse also spoke about to the council about how the organisation benefits Haverhill.

The councillors voted unanimously in favour of supporting the history group with a £2,500 grant.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 14) Echo.