A POPULAR arts centre will once again receive a �135,000 grant from Bracknell Town Council.

Councillors gave funding proposals for the South Hill Park Trust Ltd (SHP) the rubber-stamp at the full council meeting last night (Tuesday), continuing its support for the Birch Hill mansion.

Leader of the council, Cllr Chris Turrell, whole-heartedly backed the funding and said: "Councillors have probably been to a number of productions at SHP, including the fireworks and the panto last week.

"I think we work well with SHP and SHP has been working well and we have a clear idea of what they're setting out to do."

The grant, which is for the period of April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014, is designed to reflect the council's "reasonable expectation" that SHP will, first and foremost, provide a "balanced mix" of the arts, says town council clerk Russell Reeve.

Work with schools and the local community - including through free and funded activities - to encourage appreciation and participation in the music, theatre and other art forms.

The cash will be paid in four equal installments, commencing on June 30, 2013.

This follows SHP's application to Arts Council England at the end of October, where they asked for �380,000 of extra funding to upgrade the centre's heating and install solar panels.

Councillors at the meeting also agreed to make sure the town's play areas, parks, sports pitches and other facilities are all up to scratch next year - following heavy use in 2012.

Grants will be made to a wide variety of local groups and the council's precept for the year 2013/14 will be �75.68 at band D, a rise of �1.49 from �74.19.

Confirmation of the budget detail will be at a council meeting on Tuesday, February 19, 2012.

"We are approaching this change cautiously, to make sure we get things right. But our overall aim is to ensure we continue to provide residents with good quality, good value facilities," added Cllr Turrell.