Louth Town Partnership (LTP) will cease to exist at the end of this month, just days after the Town Manager was handed her redundancy notice.
The Partnership is set to close down on December 31 due to a lack of funding, after East Lindsey District Council confirmed that it will not release any further funding to the organisation.
Having financially supported the Partnership since 2009, ELDC had agreed in 2013 to provide an additional two years of funding, worth £45,000 per year, subject to a review after the first year to assess whether key objectives, including a move towards self-funding, had been achieved.
This review meeting took place on Friday November 28, and ELDC has since confirmed that it does not feel the Partnership is financially sustainable.
Barring a last minute cash injection from elsewhere, the Partnership will have no option but to disband - leaving successful local events such as the Christmas Craft Market, Vintage Day, Food Festival and Victorian Family Fayre with an uncertain future.
In a letter to the Board of the Partnership, which praised the commitment and fortitude of Chairman Jerry Gale, ELDC said: “The lack of real prospects of securing a more sustainable future has led us to conclude that it is appropriate to end the funding to the Partnership.”
Speaking to the Leader last week, LTP Chairman Jerry Gale conceded that “no real progress” had been made towards the key objective of the Partnership becoming self-funding, partly due to the difficult financial climate.
Mr Gale revealed to the Leader that he was already planning to resign from the Board - which has dwindled down to just three members in recent months - for health and workload reasons. Treasurer Mick Forman had also expressed his intention to resign from the Board.
Following ELDC’s final decision, Mr Gale said: “It is sad news for Louth, and the town is going to lose out.”
Two of the Partnership’s key employees, Louth Town Manager Nicola Marshall and Town Coordinator Roz Laggan, were handed their redundancy notices following the ELDC review meeting.
Nicola Marshall told the Leader last week that the review meeting should have been held back in the summer, but due to delays from ELDC it did not take place until November - despite the fact that the second batch of funding, if it had been granted, was due on October 1.
ELDC’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration, Councillor Craig Leyland, said: “Since 2009, the District Council has supported Louth Town Partnership with around £300,000 of funding.
“In 2013, the District Council agreed to support the Partnership with two additional years of funding at £45,000 per year, which would be released to the Partnership based on agreed key objectives being achieved.
“Unfortunately, the Partnership has not been able to show any evidence of progress in achieving those key objectives and therefore is not sustainable.
“As a result of this, the District Council will not release any further funding to the Partnership, other than to cover existing commitments.”
• Mablethorpe and Skegness Town Partnerships will be subject to separate reviews.