More than £200,000 of funding has been approved for local community groups in Renfrewshire to deliver innovative and sustainable projects that will enhance where they live.
Six community groups were successful in their applications to Renfrewshire Council’s Sustainable Communities Fund and will now be awarded a share of £213,405 to deliver on their project ambitions.
At the Communities and Housing Policy Board on 16 January councillors approved recommendations to award funding to: Friends of Howwood Park, Inchinnan Development Trust, KLAS Care C.I.C., Western Desert Recce Group, Kustom Kruizers and St Catherine’s Primary School Parent Council.
The successful applications can now progress plans to deliver a range of projects to improve the local area. These include the renovation and restoration of outdoor spaces for community use, enhancements to local biodiversity areas, a bike repair and maintenance initiative and the development and creation of a community garden and outdoor learning space.
Western Desert Recce Group (WDRG) secured funding to restore the Whitehaugh Barracks building in Paisley. WDRG Chair, retired Major Gary Wallace, said: “The Sustainable Communities Fund will be used to help get the barracks secured, wind-proof and watertight with the aim of getting the garages to a usable state for displays and events.
“The benefit we hope to bring to the community is to open the opportunity to learn about local history, to learn new skills and to participate in various restoration projects. Apart from supporting veterans we want to open up everything to become a true local community led asset.”
This is the first round of funding to be allocated from the Sustainable Communities Fund. The £1.5million fund combines the former Community Empowerment Fund and the Climate Change Action Fund into one easy-to-access process and includes £650,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund – Communities and Place.
The purpose of the fund is to support local communities to regenerate local spaces and, through community collaboration, tackle inequalities including isolation, food insecurity, healthy eating, health inequalities and fuel poverty.
Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities and Housing Policy Board, Councillor Marie McGurk, said: “We understand local people know their neighbourhoods better than anyone and we are committed to supporting them to deliver the projects they know are needed.
“The overwhelming number of applications submitted to the first round of the Sustainable Communities Fund shows how passionate people are about improving their local area.
“I’d like to congratulate everyone who was successful in this initial round of funding and look forward to seeing these fantastic plans develop over time.
“Through the £1.5million available in the Sustainable Communities Fund we want to support local people to make the changes they know are needed to transform where they live and make a positive impact to their neighbourhoods. I’d encourage local groups with ideas for ways to enhance where they live to apply for future rounds of funding.”
Applications are currently open for the next round of funding, the deadline for submissions is 31 January 2024.
Constituted community groups can apply for up to £10,000, £10-25,000 or up to £100,000 for their project depending on its size and scale which will allow both small and large scale projects to be considered.
Potential projects that could be funded include the restoration or development of buildings, grants for equipment to support community initiatives, tools for hire or community kitchens, or enhancements to local biodiversity through planting projects, growing grounds or community gardens.
Other potential project areas include funding to investigate community asset transfers, to purchase infrastructure or equipment for improvements to community spaces, or to recruit, train and retain volunteers.
To find out more about the Sustainable Communities Fund and how to apply please visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk and search for ‘Sustainable Communities Fund’.