By Tony Earnshaw Local Democracy Reporter

Voluntary groups impacted by the coronavirus may be handed financial support to ensure their survival.

Kirklees Council is looking to allocate £50,000 via local councillors. The cash would be earmarked to help groups and organisations face the challenges posed by the virus.

It has been described as “a systematic response designed to support and enable groups to survive and thereafter flourish over the next six months and beyond”.

The funding is expected to be approved at a meeting of the council’s decision-making Cabinet.

A report to be presented at the meeting said: “This year, unlike any other, those groups have found it increasingly difficult to rely on some of the consequential opportunities to generate income.

“For example, Christmas lights switch-ons, luncheon dates, Christmas fairs and carol concerts (amongst many others) have all but disappeared and as a consequence will impinge on the financial security of some groups and organisations.”

Voluntary organisations in Kirklees saw their income plummet during the first six months of the pandemic.

Some charity shops expect a 90% drop in takings whilst others have closed altogether with staff made redundant.

Community centres have been affected as they are not receiving rent income and cannot host fundraising events.

Moreover organisations based in churches have also been hit because they are not eligible for small business grants.