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Have your say on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

October 14, 2014

Scottish Land FundThe Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee is seeking the views of Scottish communities as part of its scrutiny of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill aims to empower communities to participate in local decision making, or to buy, lease, manage, occupy or use public sector land or buildings. It will also include a reform of the law on allotments, as well as putting community planning partnerships on a statutory basis and placing new duties on partner bodies.

Because of the Big Lottery Fund’s experience of running the Growing Community Assets and the Scottish Land Fund grant programmes, we have been closely following the development of the Bill and have provided a significant amount of evidence to both the Government and the Committee.

Now you have the chance to have your say.

The Committee’s community engagement events are taking place in Dumfries on 27 October and in Fort William on 24 November, and we would strongly encourage Scottish Land Fund and Growing Community Assets funded projects in those two areas, and indeed anyone with an interest in the community ownership of assets, to go along to give the Committee their views.

Further information about the events can be found on the Scottish Parliament website.

Ready, steady…Go-Ride Legacy Games!

October 2, 2014

Young people from across Scotland are being encouraged to cycle towards a healthier and more active lifestyle, thanks Awards for All Scotland funding. The Go-Ride Legacy Games is an exciting Scotland wide project encouraging young people to get involved in the sport of bike racing, building on the legacy of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Young people taking part in the Go Ride Legacy

Young people taking part in the Go-Ride Legacy Games

The Scottish Cyclists Union received an award of £7,895 earlier this year to run the project which will include a series of local events all round the country culminating in three national events in Perthshire, Cumbernauld and Glasgow.

Regional Development Officer, Sophie Warburton, put together the Awards for All application.  She said: “In comparison to other funding applications I’ve worked on this one was pretty easy and I liked the simplicity of the application.  I especially liked the way it gave you the room to explain the project in your own words.”

Sophie continued: “Through this project we will be working with approximately 20 accredited Go-Ride Clubs across Scotland between now and November for them to deliver two events each. After that we are hoping to include participants from these events at our  National days in Highland Perthshire, Cumbernauld and Glasgow.”

“The aim of our project is to inspire young people under 16 who are already riding bikes to give bike racing a go and get that adrenaline rush from what an exciting and exhilarating experience it is.

“Without the Awards for All funding this whole thing wouldn’t have been possible as the event kit bags are the crucial part to making this project work. These bags will enable clubs across the country not only to run these events but also future events to promote bike racing and encourage young people in the sport for years to come.”

Lynne Munro, Head of Development at Scottish Cycling, added: “The Go-Ride Legacy Games 2014 are a fantastic opportunity for clubs to get involved and attract new members to their sessions.  Clubs now have access to a kit bag crammed full of useful and exciting resources and equipment for their riders to access our world class facilities here in Scotland. Young riders who are new to cycling will be able to develop the skills and confidence required to take part in events, under the guidance of our Scottish club coaches.”

You can find out more about the Go-Ride Legacy Games here.

If your group is looking for funding of up to £10,000 Awards for All could be for you. Visit the Awards for All Scotland website for more information.


The Big Music project comes to Glasgow

September 25, 2014

The Big Music Project rolled into The Arches in Glasgow earlier this week where over 1,300 lucky youngsters had signed up to rub shoulders with chart topping artists Plan B, The View and Chase and Status.

This live national event was the first in a UK series of dates bringing the music industry to young people across the country.  Young people were invited to sign up for the all day conference to experience all areas of the industry from performance to production, learning how to create a remix, set up a PA or even lay down a track in a makeshift recording studio.

Funded by The Big Lottery Fund, The Big Music Project is the most ambitious and accessible music project ever to hit the UK. The project is a collaboration between Global Charities, and the BPI, who are behind the BRITs.  Both organisations have joined up with charity UK Youth to inspire and create incredible opportunities for 14-24 year olds from across the country wanting to succeed in the music business. In Scotland the project has been delivered in partnership with Youth Scotland.

Gideon  getting ready to see his favourite band

Gideon getting ready to see his favourite band

Lottery funded Tollcross YMCA took 15 young people, all project champions, to the event. As well as making lots of valuable contacts with producers, technicians and sound engineers, some are now considering further education related courses.

Darran Gillan, Youth & Community Manager Tollcross YMCA, said: “Events like The Big Music Project held in Glasgow are important to have as they help remove the barriers that young people face when starting out in their music career.  They offer access to reliable and trustworthy advice and performance opportunities in what is still regarded as one of the most competitive industries to break into.”

Gideon Amoako – ackah Heatflow, 25, is a rapper and producer from Glasgow. He said, “I’m here because one day I really want to set up my own label. This is great as there are people here from the industry that I would never normally get a chance to speak to and I’ve also been able to speak to other young people who are passionate about music like I am.  It’s great that this project is bringing these people to Glasgow to inspire young people here.

Nicole McCurry, 17, said: “I’ve been dancing since I was two years old and singing in my room ever since I could remember.   This event is fantastic and it’s been so good to see all the other musicians and bands and finding out how they got to be where they are today.  They played a film about our project and Plan B told me my singing voice sounded great, I can’t believe it.”

You can find more details about The Big Music Project here.

Scottish Land Fund awards £1.2 million

September 23, 2014

The Castle Toward estate in Argyll. Copyright Alain Bety

An enterprising Argyll community has received £750,000 from the Scottish Land Fund to purchase an historic 15th Century estate. It is one of five rural communities sharing in funding worth £1.2 million.

South Cowal Community Development Company in Argyll plan to purchase the Castle Toward 143 acre estate to preserve the buildings and create new jobs for local people. This includes the Grade B Listed Baronial Mansion House, which will be leased and developed by a national outdoor education company and the Gate House buildings, which the community plan to develop for a range of activities including a tea-room, bunk-house, self-catering units and retail workshops.

Welcoming the award, South Cowal Community Development Company Chairman Alan Stewart, said: “This kind of news doesn’t happen very often and it will certainly lift spirits here in South Cowal. The local community have been behind the community buyout 100% over the past six months, attending open days, local meetings, fundraising events and even a record turnout for community ballot on the estate’s future. This level of funding now means we can proceed in our continuing negotiations to purchase this estate for the community.”

The Scottish Land Fund is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Details of all five awards can be found in this Scottish Land Fund news release.

Scottish Business Diversity Awards 2014

September 22, 2014

The countdown is on for entries to the Scottish Business Diversity Awards 2014. Now in its seventh year, the awards –  run by the Scottish Union of Supported Employment (SUSE) -  recognise those people, organisations and businesses who excel in promoting the employment of people with disabilities and long term conditions.

There are three categories in the 2014 awards:

sbda logo - high resEmployer of the Year Award – celebrating employers and workplaces that have taken that extra step to include, develop and promote individuals with a disability or long term condition

The Achiever of the Year Award – recognising the efforts and achievements made by people with disabilities and long-term conditions to follow their employment goals.

The Innovation Award – recognising a project or programme that takes a fresh approach at employability and disability in the workplace.

SUSE awards 2013

Glasgow Housing Association –  winner of the SBDA 2013 Employer of the Year award

If you want to nominate an individual or organisation for any of the awards, all you need to do is complete a short nomination form by 10 am on 6th October 2014. Simply visit the Scottish Business Diversity Awards website for more information.

This year the awards will be held on 20 November at the annual SUSE conference at the Apex International Hotel, Edinburgh.

SUSE received almost £700,000 from the Big Lottery Fund  to help remove barriers to employment faced by disabled people. The awards are just a small part of the work they are doing to change attitudes within the work place.