A PLAY scheme for children in Cutteslowe could hang in the balance after Oxford City Council granted it only a quarter of the funding needed.

Since 2013 the authority has classed Cutteslowe as a regeneration area, along with Barton, Rose Hill, The Leys, Wood Farm, Northway and Littlemore.

But this month when the city council published a list of groups it would grant funding to, members of Cutteslowe Community Association were dismayed to find they were allocated a quarter of what they applied for.

The group was only saved from the brink of financial ruin last August by a public appeal.

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Association trustee Shirley McCready said funding for regular activities was now assured, but cash was still needed for the play scheme for disadvantaged children.

A request was made for £10,000 from the city council, but the Association was told that was “expensive”

and given £2,500 instead.

The three-week play scheme normally runs every summer and would have catered for up to 55 children aged from five to 11.

Councillor Mike Rowley, executive board member for leisure contract and community partnership grants, said: “The play scheme is by some way the most expensive in Oxford and does not represent good value for public money.

“We wouldn’t have funded the play scheme at all if Cutteslowe weren’t a priority area. We’ll continue to work closely with them to make the play scheme more sustainable.”

The panel did, however, agree to fund a £1,000 grant application for an over-60s group run by the association.

But Mrs McCready said the play scheme now might not go ahead.

She said: “We haven’t got it covered and are very disappointed.

The council has designated Cutteslowe as a regeneration area, but doesn’t seem to want to put its money where its mouth is.”

City councillor for Summertown Jean Fooks, whose ward includes Cutteslowe, said: “After struggling to fund the playscheme last year, the community association asked for a larger amount to try to ensure that it could go ahead.”

Elsewhere in the city, £7,500 was granted to run Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground, £3,500 to the Leys Community Market to pay for indoor events, £7,500 to the Leys Community Development Initiative and £10,000 to Leys News.

Innovista, a youth project in Barton, received £6,000 and Ark T Centre, which works with disadvantaged young people in Cowley, Blackbird Leys, Rose Hill, Wood Farm, Barton Littlemore and Northfield Brook, received £6,811.

Adult education provider The Workers’ Educational Association, which runs community arts projects in Blackbird Leys, Rose Hill and Littlemore, received £4,939.

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