THE new community meals service for Melksham is in danger of collapse unless it can find a new sponsor and a new venue after failing to obtain further financial support from the town council.

Melksham Community Meals was set up by co-founders Sue Mortimer, Elvey Schofield and Sue Hutchinson in February as a non-profit making organisation.

They have run into a mini-financial crisis because they have not yet managed to obtain registered charity status.

When the co-founders applied for further financial support from Melksham Town Council, their grant application was refused because they did not meet the eligibility criteria.

Melksham Town Council said: “We have a sophisticated points scoring system and their grant application was not successful as it did not meet the eligibility criteria.”

Mrs Mortimer said the council had “wrongly classed” the service as a business rather than as a non-profit making organisation.

The retired accountant says the service is unable to afford to continue paying rent at the Melksham Assembly Hall when the current agreement expires at the end of October.

The town council had waived the rent for the first three months, and then offered Melksham Community Meals a reduced rent up to the end of this month.

Mrs Mortimer is now looking for support from some of the town’s businesses and organisations to keep it running.

She said: “We are looking for a new venue and for sponsorship and are talking to people at the moment.

“We need to have an affordable rent really and we are still exploring avenues. Currently, there are 45 people using the service.

“We have approached the Riverside Club and the Rachel Fowler Centre but their kitchens are not suitable.”

The co-founders revived the service after Wiltshire Council decided to close the former Melksham Lunch Club in December as part of budget cuts.

The service relaunched on February 8 as Melksham Community Meals and offers a place to eat for the local community, including elderly, vulnerable and isolated people, at Melksham Assembly Hall on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

 If you can help with sponsorship and a new venue, please contact Sue Mortimer on 07719 935883.