The UK’s First Ever, Lottery Funded Canine Society!!
Cheers of celebration and rounds of applause erupted last week at the Central Bedfordshire Canine Trusts; Annual Christmas Party when the trusts Chief Executive (Gary Gregory) and President (James Maxwell) made the very special announcement that the Central Bedfordshire Canine Trust was to become the first ever Lottery funded canine society as from the 1st January 2011.
Members at the event heard that the trust had been working with the National Lottery - Big Lottery Fund since August this year in applying for and securing funding, which is a first for any UK canine society. The process and application was supported by Central Bedfordshire Councils; Voluntary & Community Action team and local councillors.
At the launch members heard that the funding would be used to directly invest in facilities and activities for dog owners and enthusiasts in Central Bedfordshire. It will be spent in three main ways:
1. Setting up new Agility & Flyball training facilities and classes.
2.Providing on site facilities at a NEW VENUE, which will be used for training classes and other events and dog shows.
3.Providing a “Dog Training For All Programme” which will provide FREE DOG TRAINING in obedience and agility to households on low incomes AND ALL UNDER 18’s.
Gary Gregory the trusts Chief Executive commented: “We are exceptionally proud that the National Lottery – Big Lottery Fund has agreed to fund our very exciting new projects, its been a hard and sometimes frustrating process, but the end result is very worthwhile, especially when we are the first UK canine society to achieve a full Lottery Funded award from the Big Lottery Fund.”
It is understood that the Big Lottery Fund, which distributes revenue from National Lottery ticket sales to good causes, particularly liked the proposal to set up Agility & Flyball training, which was presented to them by the trust with the tag-line “Fit, Fun & Friendly” and promoting that Agility training was a great platform to reach dog owners from all sections of the community and an activity which could help people and their dogs get fit in a fun and friendly way. Of the total funding, £5,500 will be used for the new Agility & Flyball facilities and training classes.
In his announcement speech, Gary Gregory (Chief Executive) explained: “We have reached a outstanding milestone in the development of the Central Bedfordshire Canine Trust, we have never been afraid of challenging convention or approaching ideas from a different perspective. At a time of a recession and national cut backs, it is important to secure new ways of funding canine activities and continued development. It is also important that we ensure canine activities come into the “mainstream” and are recognised as being modern and beneficial to the community, activities which are worthwhile of investment and funding. We must shake off the perception that canine activities and societies are outdated and a Victorian left over.”
The Central Bedfordshire Canine Trust is unique in the fact that when it was formed in 2008 in preparation for the new Central Bedfordshire borders and council, it registered as a charity and became Kennel Club Listed Status. In September 2010, the trust announced that it was to apply to the Kennel Club for full registration as a General Canine Society, but that plan was but on hold until an agreement had been reached with the Big Lottery Fund amid fears; too strong a connection with The Kennel Club may have put the funding plans in jeopardy given public opinion after “Pedigree Dogs Exposed”. The trust confirmed that now a final agreement had been made with the Big Lottery Fund, in which the BLF recognised the importance of the trust furthering its relationship with The Kennel Club, a revised application for the trust to become a KC General Canine Society will now be submitted by the 5th January 2011. Gary Gregory added “the trusts support for The Kennel Club has never faltered, and we look forward to The Kennel Club considering our application to register as a General Canine Society”.
For photos from the announcement launch please click here