PARLIAMENTARY candidates have backed a scheme designed to provide local projects with funding.
The founder of Portsmouth firm The Car Finance Company Mark Smith has donated £14,000 to a pot of cash for programs that benefit people in the Portsmouth area.
The goodwill has spread throughout the city after other businesses heard about the gesture and increased the fund’s total to about £20,000.
Charities can bid for one of three amounts to be taken from the pot, and will be judged by a panel made up of TCFC employees.
Portsmouth South Independent candidate Mike Hancock has urged other businesses to get involved and donate money.
He said: ‘This is a brilliant idea. I’d encourage all businesses who feel they can make this kind of gesture to do so. Anything that will improve the infrastructure or the cultural and sporting life of the city should be encouraged.’
Flick Drummond, who is standing for the Conservatives in Portsmouth South, said: ‘It is excellent if people want to donate to charity as they are helping the community.
‘There are so many charities that need the support.
‘I am all for people giving money to good causes.’
Once all applications are received, TCFC will put the information on a company-wide communication system where all staff can vote for who they think should receive funding.
Labour candidate Sue Castillon has expressed that there are many groups that need the funding.
Among those that have already applied are Pompey in the Community, Home-Start Havant and The Recovery Cafe in Kingston Road, Portsmouth.
Ms Castillon said: ‘There are many charities and community organisations across the city that are struggling for funding year on year.
‘Every little helps as council funding is being cut.’
Three finalists will be chosen for each amount available and the judging panel will then make the final decisions.
Time is running out for charities to get their applications in for the funds set up by The Car Finance Company.
The firm has already received more than 70 applications and is expecting several more before the deadline of Monday.
Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in Portsmouth South, said: ‘A lot of people have applied for it as they have good projects. If they have extra funding then they can make them even better.
‘It’s great that the company wants to put something back into the community.’
Green Party candidate Ian McCulloch said: ‘I’m glad that there are local companies that have stepped in to do this and support the local area as previous methods are no longer available.’
Ukip candidate Steve Harris has given his backing to the scheme.
Mr Harris said: ‘Anybody that is trying to raise money for Portsmouth South should be encouraged and thanked for their work.’
Don Jerrard from the Justice and Anti-Corruption Party and Sean Hoyle from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition were unavailable to discuss the scheme. The judges’ decision will be announced in June.