Joy as cancer charity awarded twice as much cash as it sought

A north-east cancer charity has been awarded more than double the amount of funding it had requested towards the creation of its new headquarters.

Cancer Link Aberdeen and North (Clan) had asked local councillors to agree a £25,000 contribution towards the proposed new support centre in Westburn Road.

However, the charity walked away from a meeting of Aberdeen City Council’s finance committee with £55,000.

The grant from the city’s common good fund will go towards the group’s plans to convert the former Park House care home into its £3million new headquarters.

Committee members agreed that £25,000 should be spent on creating a volunteer co-ordinators’ room, with a further £30,000 going on a twin room for disabled people at the new centre.

They also unanimously agreed to provide Clan with a 175-year lease for the new site, which will replace its existing premises in Caroline Place.

Clan chief executive Debbie Thomson said: “Aberdeen City Council has been truly supportive in helping us with this and we are all delighted to have secured a long-term lease with the city for the Park House site on Westburn Road.

“The wonderful news too that our application for funding from the common good fund has been successful is icing on the cake and will truly benefit the users of our new facility. “

The committee’s convener, councillor Kevin Stewart, said the partnership between the local authority and the charity could provide a template for other groups in the looming era of financial austerity.

“I am absolutely delighted that the city council has been able to tie up a long-term lease with Clan and donate money from the common good fund,” he said.

“The charity provides a unique range of services for the people of the north-east and deserves all the support we can give.

“This is the sort of joint-working with the voluntary sector that will become more and more necessary in the coming years as local authority budgets become ever tighter in the difficult economic climate.

“I would be happy to talk to other organisations who can provide vital services to discuss how we can work closely together for the good of our citizens.”