THE decision to award £9,000 to a “valued” leisure centre in Gillingham is to be determined by the end of the month.

As previously reported, the decision to grant the sum to RiversMeet was deferred by councillors during a meeting on July 27, so a workshop could be organised on the matter to discuss questions and costs.

READ: 'Without support it is going to die' - council defers decision to grant leisure centre £9k

Following concerns raised by residents, Mayor of Gillingham Barry von Clemens has assured that he hopes for a decision to be made by the end of August.

He said: “The impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic has put significant financial pressure on businesses, organisations and councils at a national and international level, and Gillingham Town Council (GTC) is aware of the challenges being faced by many businesses in the town.

“RiversMeet is a valued community owned asset run by Gillingham Community and Leisure Trust Ltd and is used by many organisations, groups and schools.

“Given the severity of the current crisis and the nature of the organisation, the trust is looking to the town council for financial support. The town council is legally able to assist the trust using discretionary powers, however, the town council’s general reserves are low, and so the council needs to make some tough choices.”

The decision to discuss the grant in more depth was backed by 10 councillors during the meeting last month, with Cllr Sharon Cullingford adding “there is a lot to go through [and] a lot of questions”.

In his statement Councillor von Clemens added: “To date, GTC has not made a decision on the matter. The council and the trust are currently in discussion regarding a way forward and it is hoped that a decision can be made by the end of the month.”