A potential bike hire social enterprise, cultural heritage trails, a playpark and a floating pontoon are just some of the community projects set to benefit from £16,500 of funding from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
The National Park has awarded the funding through its Community Grant Scheme which has awarded over £170,000 to community groups since it began in 2009.
The Scheme helps communities to develop projects that progress the priorities of local Community Action Plans as well as support the strategic aims of the National Park.
Stuart Mearns, Head of Planning and Rural Development at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, said: “One of the key aims of the National Park Authority is to promote the sustainable social and economic development of the area’s communities. We work closely with community-led organisations to do this and the Community Grant Scheme allows us to provide vital funding for these groups to progress priority projects and also help with their running costs.
“This links closely to the increasing opportunities from the new Community Empowerment legislation which aims to empower community bodies to strengthen their voices and play a leading role in the decisions that matter to them.”
The ‘Moving Forward’ part of the 2016/17 Community Grant Scheme aims to support constituted community groups take forward larger-scale community aspirations.
The grants awarded this year are to:
• Strathfillan Community Development Trust: funding towards a study into the feasibility of the community running a bike hire/outdoor recreation social enterprise making the most of the range of outdoor recreation opportunities in the area and recent path improvements.
• Benmore & Kilmun Community Development Trust: funding towards an options appraisal for creating two Cultural Heritage Trails, one walking, and a longer trail for those traveling by car or bicycle. The trails will link local historical figures, their achievements and the places associated with them as well as local amenities and established local attractions.
• Killin and Ardeonaig Community Trust: funding towards the community-led design of a play park, which is part of a three-phase initiative to improve and enhance Breadalbane Park as the key green space and event hub for the community.
• Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Community Council: funding towards an otter survey and designs to support the early stage of installing a floating pontoon in Arrochar that aims to create marine access to Loch Long for local residents and visitors.
The ‘Capacity’ part of the Community Grant Scheme plays a key role in the empowerment of communities by supporting the organisational activities of Community Development Trusts in the National Park. These Trusts tackle local issues and improve the quality of life in their communities through sustainable regeneration activities, which are often funded through enterprise and the ownership of assets.
Capacity grants have been awarded to:
• Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Trust
• Benmore and Kilmun Community Development Trust
• Callander Community Development Trust
• Croftamie Community Trust Ltd
• Gartmore Community Trust Ltd
• Killin & Ardeonaig Community Development Trust
• Kilmaronock Community Trust
• Loch Goil Community Trust
• Luss and Arden Community Development Trust
• Sandbank Community Development Trust
• St. Fillans Community Trust Ltd
• Strathfillan Community Development Trust
Click here for more information about the Community Grant Scheme.