Jan 1 2008 by Nick Coligan, Liverpool Echo
TWO Liverpool community centres are competing for a slice of a £30m lottery grant.
Toxteth sports centre and Grove Mount community centre, in Penny Lane, Allerton, were chosen by the council to take part in the national competition.
The Big Lottery Fund set aside £30m to refurbish buildings all over the country.
The main condition for community groups which win the cash is that supporters take control of the buildings they currently occupy.
Between four and six projects across the north west are competing for money
Council-operated Toxteth sports centre is the focus of a £1.2m proposal to modernise it and hand it over to the Liverpool 8 Sports Forum.
Groups including the Toxteth Tigers basketball club and Kingsley United FC would then come together to manage the centre if their bid for £915,000 of lottery cash is successful.
The Penny Lane Development Trust wants to take over Grove Mount, a former council-owned property, and run it as a community centre.
Its scheme requires just over £700,000 of lottery money.
Economic chief Cllr Flo Clucas said the scheme was aimed at helping community groups develop into businesses.
She said: “We put out a call and a number of organisations bid to take part.
“We chose the two most likely to succeed, and the bids we are backing are Grove Mount and Toxteth sports centre.
“I think they stand a very good chance of actually getting the money and it would be a huge boost for those communities.
“As well as the opportunities they would create for sport and other activities the buildings could be used as community assets for events like conferences.”
Community groups will hear by the end of March if their bids for funding have been successful.