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New community asset for Muir of Ord residents

October 23, 2014

Community ownership is alive and kicking as the people of Muir of Ord in Inverness celebrate a Growing Community Assets award. The Muir of Ord Hall & Facilities Company receives £1,156,957 to refurbish and extend the existing Old Tarradale School. This will provide a new community owned facility offering social and learning opportunities for 3,300 residents, as well as visitors to the village.

From the new hub, the Calman Trust will operate a café which will provide training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged young people. Plans for the building also include a heritage and information centre, an auditorium, IT facilities and meeting space for groups to socialise.

The Old Tarradale School will soon be transformed into an enterprising community hub

Speaking on behalf of the Board and Members of Muir of Ord Hall & Facilities Company, Ian Dempster, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that our application for funding has been successful. The new community hub will improve the appearance of the village centre and provide a focal point for community activities.  The Company are also delighted to be working in partnership with The Calman Trust who, in providing the cafe service in the new hub, will offer employment and employment training opportunities for local young people.

“It is very exciting and we hope the Hub will be seen as a ‘springboard’ for wider regeneration of the community. There is a wide range of excellent grassroots activity in the village and with a Community Development Worker, funded as part of the development, energy can be channelled to achieve improvements and increased opportunities for local people.”

Listen to Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair Maureen McGinn explaining more about this Growing Community Assets award.

The Big Lottery Fund’s Growing Community Assets fund supports communities to take control and influence over their own future through the ownership of assets.  Find out more about Growing Community Assets.


Outdoor play boost for inner city children

October 22, 2014

A young Glasgow mother of five has been speaking about the importance of outdoor play in keeping children on the ‘straight and narrow’ as PEEK – Possibilities for Each and Every Kid – announces plans to expand its ‘Lets Play’ project. The expansion has been made possible, thanks to an award of £605,775 from our Investing in Communities fund.

Thanks to today’s funding, PEEK will be able to employ eight new Play Rangers, as well as sessional staff, to deliver free and active outdoor play sessions in the north and east of Glasgow. This will see the project doubling in size to provide all year round play sessions for 1,800 children aged 5 to 12 and 120 young people aged 13 to 25.

Angela Morrison and Kyle Blair

Angela Morrison and her son Kyle

Angela Morrison, 27, has five children aged between 6 and 9 and has benefited from the services of PEEK as a child and as a mother. She said: “Growing up in the Gallowgate was tough. To this day there is still no community centre or playpark and all too often kids are getting caught up in gang fighting and drink and drugs. I don’t want these things for my children, which is why PEEK, and its outdoor play sessions, are so important for us as a family.  With five children, our house can be crazy at times and so it’s important that my kids get outside into the fresh air to play and release some of that energy.”

Through its play sessions PEEK uses pavements and the wider urban green space for its active play sessions, all the while ensuring that safety is their number one priority.

Angela continues: “One of my sons, Dean, has ADHD which means I can’t let him out without supervision, particularly as we live near a main road. Being able to watch him play safely with other children, with the support and encouragement of PEEK’s Play Rangers, gives me that piece of mind.


PPEK’s ‘Let’s Play project will enable more children to get outside and enjoy the fresh air

“As a parent I also see the physical and emotional benefits of these sessions for all of my children. Not only do they play better with other children but PEEK also allows us to spend more time together as a family. There really is a lack of opportunities in our area to help keep children on the straight and narrow so it’s great news that this additional Lottery money will extend these play sessions to more families like ours.”

PEEK Project Manager Melodie Crumlin, said: “Play is a fundamental part of childhood and is an end in itself, aside from any longer term benefits for children’s development and society in general.  We have introduced the idea of “urban play” by providing free play sessions loosely supervised by Street Play Rangers encouraging and helping to get local youngsters playing positively on the streets, building their confidence, building connections with their families and communities.”

This award was made under the Supporting 21st Century investment area of our Investing in Communities fund. If you have a similar project idea for funding visit the website for more details.


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.