DENNIS Grant's crimes had a knock-on effect that cost the Cotswold Water Park Society an estimated £1.3million in lost income.

At the court hearing at Gloucester Crown Court last week, Mary Harley, prosecutor, said on top of the £660,000 that Grant swindled for himself, the CWPS and its successor, the CWP Trust, had lost a further £1.3million.

Mrs Harley said that the society had lost £260,000 of grant money following Grant’s initial arrest in April last year.

She said the Trust had been forced to take out a loan of £575,000 to cover short term liabilities such as loan repayments and faced overdraft fees of £15,000.

The Trust had to pay back £150,000 plus £10,000 interest on a loan which Grant initially pocketed and also had to pay £174,000 for repayments of PAYE/NI as Grant and the late finance director Nick Hanson had not paid the contributions for three years.

Legal fees to bring Grant to court cost the Trust £96,435 and more than £15,000 was spent on professional fees.

It meant the CWPT was unable to pay staff their wages on time and so had to pay staff bank fees of £1,369.28 for the late pay.

Mrs Harley told the court: "In addition to the quantifiable losses the organisation continues to suffer loss of faith, respect and trust from local communities, official partners and landowners.

"It has been unable to meet its commitments and to achieve on the ground action to improve the environment within the Water Park.

"Members of staff have suffered considerable uncertainty as to receipt of wages and continuing employment."

Matthew Millett, managing director of the CWPT, said he expected some organisations to withdraw funding after the fraud became public.

"Some who might have funded us have decided to hold fire and that's something that is very understandable," he said.

"What I'd like to think is that given our new sense of direction we can repair that and get them back on board."