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Rent from shops is big boost for good causes
NEARLY £100,000 has been handed to worthy causes in Worcester – using rental income from city shops.
The body which oversees the Hopmarket, a courtyard of independent retailers off Foregate Street, awarded £95,000 to 12 organisations in 2012/13.
The allocation of grants is decided by a committee of Worcester City Councillors, who sit down and go through the applications for cash.
A new report has been published which details the Hopmarket’s accounts over the last year.
It shows Maggs Day Centre was one of the biggest beneficiaries last year, receiving £9,000 towards its work with homeless people. The cash was spent on providing users of the shelter with clothing and extra support to find a job, as well as beefing up the outreach service, where staff go out and speak to people on the streets.
Armchair, which collects, stores and delivers unwanted furniture to the needy, got £4,100, while Perdiswell Young People’s Leisure Club was awarded £15,250.
In 2012/13 the Hopmarket brought in £122,927 in rent, and various other pots of revenue, including £20,432 in service charges, led to total income hitting £177,652. After expenditure, the books showed a surplus of £99,568, suggesting the shopping parade is well placed for the months ahead.
Lisa Ricketts, who runs Hopmarket Trophies, which has been based in the courtyard for more than 20 years, said: “We’ve got a very loyal customer base which means we don’t have to rely on footfall as much, although things have gone up slightly. People know where we are and we offer something quite niche.”
Worcester Play Council, which has been operating for 15 years and offers support for disadvantaged 11 to 16-year-olds, was given £2,500, while a token £650 was offered to Happy Days, a charity that organises days out for children with special needs.
All Saints Church got £2,500, which was specifically for keeping struggling families supplied with food for up to 72 hours before social services step in. The accounts were signed off by the Hopmarket committee during a meeting at the Guildhall on Tuesday, and are now subject to an independent audit.
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