TORFAEN council has approved an additional £18,000 for their grants’ budget for third sector organisations – bringing the total investment up to £460,180.

The council approved the additional funding after 13 of Torfaen’s existing third sector recipients formally re-applied for funding for the period from 2017-2020.

The original allocated budget of £441,748 has now been increased by £18,432 to £460,180.

Cllr David Daniels said: ‘‘A number of funding options were considered but the preferred option required just a small amount of additional funding for third sector grants without significant opportunity cost or adding costs to other parts of the organisation.

“We see investment in the local community and voluntary sector as being the best buy in financial terms but also in providing our citizens with access to information and services to help with very real, everyday challenges.

“This year we’ve been able to commit nearly £150,000 to the local Citizens Advice Bureau in recognition of the difficulties families are currently facing, whether they are struggling with complex benefit changes imposed by the UK government.

“As well as these types of specialist services, our investment also enables targeted activities in places like Cold Barn Farm, South West Cwmbran and Woodlands Field, Penygarn.

“To support and enable wider access to services, we have also invested in Torfaen Community Transport and the Torfaen Voluntary Alliance.”

In the allocation for 2017-2018, Torfaen Citizens Advice Bureau has been granted a total of £148,740, Age Connects Torfaen has been awarded £30,090, Cold Barn Farm, £15,430 and CoStar Partnership, £41,650.

The Cwmbran Centre for Young People has been granted £16,300, Garnsychan Partnership £57,930 and Pontypool Community Council £12,920.

In addition, Torfaen Aids for the Disabled has been given a grant of £4,630, Torfaen Community Transport £33,500 and Torfaen Gypsies and Travellers Association, £8,800.

Torfaen Voluntary Alliance (TVA) has been awarded £41,470, Woodlands Field, £38,720, and Youth/Play Service, £10,000.