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Enterprising communities

Published: 11 Feb 2016 10:00

£2.5 million for regeneration projects.

More than 40 community organisations that are transforming disused properties and setting up enterprises in their areas, will receive a share of a £2.5 million fund.

The Scottish Government will increase its investment in the Strengthening Communities Programme (SCP) in 2016-17 by £500,000 to £2.5 million, to help communities lead economic and regeneration work in their areas.

The SCP will provide investment to enterprising community organisations that have the potential to become more self-sustaining and established.

Organisations whose funding will be maintained in 2016-17 include MsMissMrs in Glasgow which uses the profits from the sale of underwear to organise training courses for women, the Happy n Healthy Community Development Trust in South Lanarkshire which is developing a community wind turbine and the Glendale Trust in Skye, which is taking on ownership of the Borrodale School and Meanish Pier.

Community Empowerment Minister Marco Biagi announced the additional investment on a visit to Burnfoot Community Futures in the Scottish Borders.

Mr Biagi said:

"This £2.5 million investment is helping communities breathe life into disused buildings, producing opportunities for renewables generation, establishing community transport and tourism initiatives and creating jobs.

"We've already seen the benefits of funding these projects with communities across Scotland becoming more resilient, taking ownership and control of their own areas and generating income by coming up with entrepreneurial ideas.

"By increasing our investment this year we are able to give more communities the opportunity to take forward improvements to their area, on their own terms. This investment will help enterprising community groups become anchor organisations in their local areas.

"This funding supports the aims of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act which comes into effect this year and is a momentous step in our drive to increase participation in local decision making."

Over the next few months community regeneration partners the Scottish Community Development Centre, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS), Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS) and Carnegie UK Trust will put forward recommendations on other organisations that could receive a share of the additional £500,000, for approval by the Programme Board.

Thanks to funding of £585,000 through the joint local authority and Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, and a Big Lottery grant, Burnfoot Community Futures was able to purchase a derelict former pub and transform it into a multi-purpose centre. The hub now hosts a nursery offering childcare and training, café, soft play area, garden and growing space and function room with dance studio and events space.

The centre, which opened in October, will receive around £50,000 in 2016-17 from the Strengthening Communities Programme, to continue funding a development manager to support these activities and promote the hub.

Zoe Hall, the chair of Burnfoot Community Futures said:

"This facility is community owned, community led and community run and is starting to make a real difference to people locally. For the first time there is a 'drop in' place to meet at the café and an increasing number of things to do here, for all ages.

"We are grateful to the Scottish Government for the capital funding which allowed us to buy and transform the old pub and we thank the Minister and his team for already providing nearly £85,000 of Strengthening Communities funding which has helped the board to gain the skills and put in place the processes to make this project such a great success."

Notes to editors

More information is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/regeneration/community/strengthening-communities

The initial list of Strengthening Communities Programme projects that are expected to continue receiving grant funding in 2016/2017 is below:

Community Organisation

Local Authority Area

Duncan MacKinnon Music and Arts Trust Ltd.

Scottish Borders

Fyne Futures

Argyll & Bute

MsMissMrs Community Interest Company

Glasgow

The Carrick Centre

South Ayrshire

Annexe Communities

Glasgow

Auchinleck Community Development Initiative

East Ayrshire

Balerno Village Trust

Edinburgh

Barmulloch Community Development Company

Glasgow

Beith Community Development Trust

North Ayrshire

Burnfoot Community Futures

Scottish Borders

Carluke Development Trust

South Lanarkshire

Community Alliance Trust

Edinburgh

Connect Community Trust

Glasgow

Crossroads Community Hub Ltd.

East Ayrshire

Dunblane Development Trust

Stirling

Ettrick and Yarrow Community Development Company

Scottish Borders

Fauldhouse Community Development Trust Ltd.

West Lothian

Fraserburgh Development Trust

Aberdeenshire

GNH

North Lanarkshire

Gorebridge Community Development Trust

Midlothian

Greener Kirkcaldy

Fife

Health n Happy Community Development Trust

South Lanarkshire

Here We Are (Cairndow) Ltd.

Argyll & Bute

Huntly and District Development Trust

Aberdeenshire

Laggan Forest Trust

Highland

Lambhill Stables

Glasgow

Linwood Community Development Trust

Renfrewshire

LoveMilton

Glasgow

Muir of Ord Hall & Facilities Company

Highland

Neilston Development Trust

East Renfrewshire

North West Mull Community Woodlands Company

Argyll & Bute

South Kintyre Development Trust

Argyll & Bute

Woodlands Community Development Trust

Glasgow

Applecross Community Company

Highland

Lochcarron Community Development Company

Highland

Kyle & Lochalsh Community Trust

Highland

Raasay Development Trust

Highland

South West Mull and Iona Development Trust

Argyll & Bute

Staffin Community Trust

Highland

South Islay Development

Argyll & Bute

The Glendale Trust (Glendale & Duirinish)

Highland

Ulva Ferry (c/o Mull & Iona Community Trust)

Argyll & Bute