A councillor who is a keen supporter of the refuge, Cllr Peter Oakley (Cons, Tanworth), told members: “I want to thank the district council for this second generosity.

“It is not an SDC responsibility, but the SDC is stepping in where nobody else would. But this is a national issue. Every week women die because of domestic violence and sometimes their children die with them. Thank you very much for this money.”

Cllr Maurice Howse (Cons, Bidford and Salford), the council’s portfolio holder for enterprise, housing and revenues, said: “It’s been a very difficult thing to resolve. I think it’s right to say we’re very close to a way forward so we can come back to the cabinet with a final solution.”

Papers presented to the cabinet stated: “The current providers of the Stratford-upon-Avon refuge have given notice that they no longer wish to provide this service.

“Refuge, the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic violence services, has expressed an interest in taking on the management of this local asset and negotiations around the lease and funding are currently under way.

“Initial budget preparation indicates that after housing benefit receipt there will be a shortfall of up to £25,000 per annum in the running costs and it is requested that the district council meets this gap whilst continuing to work with the new providers to narrow this funding shortfall in future years.”

Orbit Heart of England, the housing association which owns the five units that make up the refuge, said this week that the organisation was working with the district council and refuge to ensure that the service continued.

A spokeswoman for Orbit said there was a meeting of the interested parties tomorrow (Friday) “to move things along smoothly.”

She added: “Our priority is to keep this service in Stratford for the benefit of women in the area.”

Liz Smeyatsky, the manager of the Stratford refuge, told the Herald: “Stratford District Council has always been very supportive of the refuge, of its staff and of its residents.

“Orbit likewise are very committed to keeping the refuge in the district and have worked very hard to ensure it will remain.

“As a representative of Families First I really appreciate the support the refuge has been given by these agencies to secure its future. I’m very happy it will still be a refuge.”

Stratford District Council came to the rescue of the refuge nearly a year ago when previous funding dried up. Its contribution then was an intended “one-off” payment of £25,000. This year’s £25,000 payment is coming from an underspend in the council’s 2013-14 corporate budget.