Sunderland City Council approves £240,000 grant for Foundation of Light

City leaders have agreed to hand over a £240,000 grant to the official charity of Sunderland AFC.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 2:43 pm

The Foundation of light was forced to dip into savings to make ends meet up to the end of 2019, prompting a fundraising drive.

This included a request to Sunderland City Council for a one-off grant, which it is hoped will also help it weather any problems raised during the coronavirus outbreak.

In 2018 the charity opened its flagship Beacon of Light facility, near the Stadium of Light, which bosses claim was being used by 7,000 people every week, before the COVID-19 lockdown.

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The Beacon of Light

“The Beacon of Light is a fantastic asset for us,” said Cllr Graeme Miller, the leader of the council.

“The council supported it with a £3million grant towards the overall costs of £20million when it was being built.

“However, the first year of operation was challenging and the foundation’s draft financial statement shows a loss of over £1million for the year ending August 31, 2019.”

Cllr Miller was speaking at a meeting of the city council’s (SCC) ruling cabinet, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.

According to a report for councillors, the foundation has been in a better financial position since September 2019, managing to save £100,000 over the following six months.

Cllr Miller added: “They have been successful in raising £500,000 from private contributors and a contribution from the council will support the foundation with its financial planning to ensure its sustainability this year.”

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