FUNDING cuts have sparked fears for at least two York community centres, leaving various groups with an uncertain future.

The chairs of both Foxwood and Chapelfields centres have warned they will be at risk of closing because they are set to lose their entire grants from City of York Council.

Foxwood chair Stephen Redman said the centre, used by organisations including a church, drama group, choir and slimming club as well as for children’s parties, was facing an annual shortfall of £25,000.

“If we are not able to come up with a plan that safeguards our future, then we may face closure,” he said in an open letter to users and supporters. “This would impact the whole of the community. If Foxwood Community Centre shuts, it is very unlikely we will ever get another centre in our lifetimes, which would be a huge loss to us and our children.”He told The Press council officers had been doing their best at a series of meetings to help the centre’s committee come up with a business plan to safeguard its future, but it would be a challenge to cut expenditure and increase revenue enough to meet the shortfall.

Centre secretary Sue Galloway, a former Liberal Democrat councillor, said the cuts were “disastrous”, as the centre was “at the heart of the community”, and she feared other centres across York were at risk as well.

Rosie Wall, chair of Chapelfelds Community Association, said she feared its centre, Sanderson House, was also under threat, and she did not believe it was realistic for association members to meet the entire funding shortfall. Mr Redman said a council official had told the Foxwood centre there would be no grant after next April, leaving little time to raise alternative funds.

A council spokeswoman said that while the grant would cease from next April, the authority would continue to meet centres’ maintenance costs for another year and might assist towards caretakers’ salaries.

Charlie Croft, the council’s assistant director for communities, said since the 2013/14 budget was announced in February the council had been working with all community centres to find ways for them to run and maintain their buildings, much as Tang Hall Community Centre had done.

He said: “Using that successful model, we are working with Foxwood Community Centre’s management committee to develop a business plan to allow, in a controlled and supported way, to take over and manage the building and generate income.

“The committee has some tough decisions to make and is working hard to encourage local people to get involved and support the centre’s future.”

Coun Linsay Cunningham-Cross, cabinet member for crime and stronger communities, said Labour valued local community facilities very highly and would not have taken this decision were it not for Conservatives and Lib Dems in Government cutting the council’s funding by over a third. She said this was why it was supporting each centre on the road towards financial independence in 2015/16.