Investigation into music group closes

Phill Knight
Phill Knight

A COUNCIL investigation into a community music group’s alleged mismanagement of funds has come to a close.

The Pier-based group 21:12, set up to provide opportunities for people across the borough - particularly youngsters - to play music, was awarded £190,000 over three years back in 2013 as part of the Community Investment Fund.

Wigan Council was impressed with what the group said it could bring to the community in terms of giving people a place to record and perform music.

However, after failing to meet any targets or show where its initial £96,000 had been spent, council bosses halted all future funding and launched an investigation.

The group was also ordered to pay back the money it could not account for.

However, after more than 12 months of investigation, the council says that it is satisfied that the £96,000 has been spent correctly.

Despite this development though, the group will not receive any further funding from the local authority, including the remaining £94,000 it was due from the Community Investment Fund.

Will Blandamer, assistant director for reform and transformation, said: “Council officers have met with 21:12 and have received the information we need to allow us to reconcile expenditure with the investment made as part of the Community Investment Fund award.

“The investigation is concluded and no further action is intended”.

The news has been welcomed by Phill Knight, who set up 21:12. He no longer runs the organisation but is still heavily involved.

21:12 is still up and running but has been self-funded, with no money from the council.

“It’s a positive resolution and a great opportunity for 21:12 to move forward,” said Mr Knight.

“We fully intend to continue with the our work which the council originally recognised and we will be working hard to do that.”