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Over £2.6 million Lottery money to empower Highlands' communties

The Big Lottery Fund Scotland yesterday (March 2) announced over £2.6 million in funding to three Highlands community based projects.

These three awards are part of a wider £8 million package from the Lottery Fund and includes the first grants made through its new funding scheme launched late last year, designed to support people and communities to overcome challenging circumstances across Scotland.

Home-Start East Highland receives an award of £513,212 to fund its Development Inverness East project to help isolated and vulnerable young families by providing practical and emotional support through a team of trained volunteers. The project will offer a home visiting help service to 55 families, including 110 children and their parents.

Marion Fraser, Manager of Home-Start East Highland, said: “The success of our grant bid will allow us to provide our home visiting volunteer and group support service to vulnerable young families across Inverness and East as far as Nairn. Having the security of five years funding for the project from Big Lottery Fund will give us the opportunity to establish a worthwhile project in some of the most deprived areas of the Highlands. We are looking forward to working with the Fund to meet the outcomes of our project and are grateful for the support they have given us during the process of our application period.”

With a focus on regenerating the local economy, today’s award of £1,000,567 to Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust will mean the dispersed community will benefit from a new community resource and visitor centre. The Falls of Shin Community Project will replace the previous visitor centre destroyed by fire in May 2013, located between Lairg and Bonar Bridge. The sustainable new building will include a café, shop, toilets, information panels and an outdoor plaza for community events.

Pete Campbell, Chairman of Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, said: “It’s great that the Big Lottery Fund acknowledged the social and economic benefits that the creation of the new community project will bring to the area. The development of a modern facility, with activities for all ages of visitors, is essential to the regeneration of the area and will provide important employment and training opportunities. Not only will the communities around the Kyle of Sutherland rejoice at the news of the award but that joy will be felt across the Highlands and further afield.”

Focusing on a remote community on the Isle of Skye, today’s award of £1,106,019 toBroadford and Strath Community Company will create a new 50 pitch campsite in a community woodland purchased in 2011. The project will provide a much in demand camping facility and help stimulate the local economy by attracting more tourists to the area.

Alistair Macpherson, Chairman of Broadford and Strath Community Company, said: “We receive this good news with a mixture of delight and disbelief. We have been working towards developing this much needed facility and producing an income stream to support community projects for many years. We have had several setbacks along the way, but this injection of capital from the Big Lottery Fund means that we can at last make things happen for the good of the whole community.

“Local people will benefit from the campsite in so many different ways - we’re creating and supporting jobs, there will be opportunities for local businesses with more tourists in the area, and the profit from the campsite will be used to support community groups.”

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “We want this Lottery funding to work hard in these tough times to open the door and support activity which puts people in the lead at the heart of their communities.

“I’m delighted some of the groups funded today are the first to receive awards through our new funding scheme and will help bring about positive change for people facing challenging circumstances across Scotland.

“In the Highlands these three projects will offer tools and confidence to those, who often feel powerless, the chance to improve their lives and those around them - whether helping regenerate the economy of remote rural communities or offering support for young families deemed to be at risk.

“We want to continue to work with communities and organisations to support activity which is people centred, strength based and has good local connections.”

Download the full list of awards

Big Lottery Fund Press Office contact: Colin Calder
Telephone: 0141 242 1484
Twitter:      @BIGSCOTLAND #biglottery
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Notes to Editors:

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • The Big Lottery Fund Scotland is focussed on helping people and communities most in need throughout Scotland through its five-year £250m funding scheme as well as small grants schemes Awards for All and Investing in Ideas.
  • Since March 2007 Big Lottery Fund Scotland has taken devolved decisions on Lottery spending, the Committee, led by Chair, Maureen McGinn plays a strategic role in the future direction of the Fund in Scotland.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects across the UK that change the lives of millions of people. Every year we fund 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.
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