Big Lottery Funds for island groups

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Three island community groups are celebrating today (Tuesday) as they are to get a significantgrant from the National Lottery.

Breasclete Community Association, Garadh a Bhagh a Tuath and Guth Airson Iarrtasan Nis-Gain (A Voice for Needs of Ness) have all received funding allocations to take forward projects in their local community.

The funding, from Big Lottery Fund’s Community Spaces Scotland scheme, allows local people to get together and shape their neighbourhood.

The Highlands and Western Isles are home to seven of those projects sharing a total of £814,818.

The Community Spaces Scotland scheme from the Big Lottery Fund helps rejuvenate local areas across the country. From developing allotments, parks and community gardens through to improving village halls and community centres, the fund will improve local spaces and places, providing somewhere better for people to come together to be healthier, happier and more active.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “A total of £814,818 goes to seven projects in the Highlands and Western Isles helping local communities to develop garden projects, revitalise neglected parks, create pathways and refurbish a village hall. The Community Spaces programme offers local people the chance to get together and have a say in the future of their community, so I’m delighted to be announcing this funding today. We want this investment to help create ties, binding local people together, while improving those community spaces which matter to them.”

Garadh a Bhagh a Tuath started in 1999 as a social enterprise market garden and garden centre in Northbay on the Isle of Barra. It’s developed to provide opportunities for volunteering and as location for adults who have physical, mental and learning disabilities to take part in gardening activities including the production and sale of plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables. The Garden Expansion project will use their Community Spaces grant of £78,614 to reclaim unused land for cultivation which means the project can grow more fruit, vegetables and plants. A pick your own fruit area will be developed, trial beds created, 700 trees planted, and a gifted garden designed by the community will be developed. The project will benefit virtually the whole community as it means increased access to locally grown, affordable fresh fruit and vegetables from on-site sales, weekly sales in Castlebay Square and monthly produce sales.

Peggy Maclean, Garadh a Bhagh a Tuath Committee member, said: The Committee of Garadh a Bhagh a Tuath would like to say a huge thank you to Big Lottery Fund Scotland for their commitment to supporting our project over the next two years. It will make a big difference in our ability to grow our people and our plants. Moran Taing.”

Pictured is Eoropie Dunes Park where the Ness group will develop and improve the Eoropie Park.