TWO community projects could yet receive a funding lifeline as Renfrewshire Leisure bosses agreed to “revisit” applications that were knocked back. 

Lochwinnoch Arts Festival and Johnstone Phoenix Theatre Company missed out on a combined £28,977 from the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund as officers said they did not meet the criteria at Wednesday’s Leadership Board. 

However, they will take a second look at the funding requests after Councillors Andy Doig and Derek Bibby, who represent Johnstone North and Lochwinnoch, protested the decision.

Councillor Doig said: “It doesn’t seem to be recognising the good work these voluntary organisations are doing. 

“We should be working with them to help them receive funding, whether that’s from the trust or further afield.”

Councillor Bibby claimed money was “disproportionately” given to Paisley based projects, before adding he was “puzzled” that the arts festival had been overlooked. 

Mary Crearie, a trustee on the board of Renfrewshire Leisure, dismissed suggestions the fund was “Paisley centric”. 

She said: “There’s a spread between Renfrewshire wide and Paisley projects receiving the fund. It’s not Paisley centric, it is absolutely a Renfrewshire wide criteria that we are applying.”

Ms Crearie also explained the process behind considering applications, when she said: “It’s a limited pot of money, so it’s not possible to give money to every project that comes forward. 

“With regards to the particular projects, Lochwinnoch Arts Festival the costs were ineligible because they were capital costs rather than programming costs. The application didn’t meet the requirement of the fund. 

“As for Johnstone Phoenix Theatre Company, there was an assessment of the funding based on funds already available to the organisation and decision was that there wasn’t a strong enough case for funding.

“We do provide detailed feedback and we are happy to help applicants with their application to improve future cases.”

Nine projects pocketed a share of £109,223 in the latest round of the fund but

Councillor Iain Nicolson, leader of Renfrewshire Council, said the two applications in question could be revisited. 

He said: “I’m happy to recommend that we revisit recommendations and look at the elemnts that meet the criteria.

“If there’s elements that meet the criteria then we fund them, if they don’t meet the criteria then we don’t fund them.”

Councillor Doig responded: “As long as it can be revisited within a matter of weeks and not months.”

Speaking after the board, Councillor Bibby said: “It is important for the council to recognise that Johnstone and the villages have a crucial role to play in raising the profile of Renfrewshire as a cultural and heritage destination.

“While I am amazed at the grants being turned down, the decision of the board to revisit these two applications is welcome.”