Community groups backed with funding to drive forward projects

South of Scotland Economic Partnership, SoSEP

Published: Tuesday, 24th July 2018

Three community groups in the Scottish Borders have been provided with a share of funding of £220,710 from the South of Scotland Economic Partnership to enable them to progress local projects.

Peebles Community Trust, Newlands Community Development Trust and Tweedsmuir Community Company, along with four groups in Dumfries and Galloway, will receive the funding - a share of almost £7.7m for the region announced last week.

The funds will be used to enable the groups to appoint dedicated project officers to assist with the delivery of asset based income generating activities for their communities.

Building capacity in the community

The funds will match those provided through the Scottish Government’s Strengthening Communities Programme (SCP), which is aimed to build the capacity of community organisations so they can address local issues and become more sustainable and resilient.

The partnership funding has allowed more SCP money to be available in the south of Scotland; this reflects experience in the Highlands where Highlands and Islands Enterprise's support has allowed a significantly larger number of communities to develop this type of economic regeneration work. It is hoped that this approach can be developed in this region.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Executive Member for Business and Economic Development

“It is tremendous that the South of Scotland Economic Partnership has been quick to recognise the positive impact community-led projects can have for people and in growing and sustaining the local economy.

“Too often communities have great ideas, drive and enthusiasm but lack the funds, time and resources to deliver their vision effectively. I’m sure this funding to support community development will be hugely welcome to residents in Peebles, Newlands and Tweedsmuir.

“This model could see other community-supported schemes thrive and deliver economic and social benefits to the Borders by giving community groups the right resources to engage with funders, communities and private and public sector bodies. If successful I hope to see this initiative repeated elsewhere to enable communities right across the Borders to play their part and improve their area’s economic vibrancy.”

Projects supported

Peebles Community Trust will utilise the funding to create a post to take forward key elements of the Town Action Plan which includes working collaboratively with local groups, private and social enterprises interested in establishing a local co-workspace that will act as a community hub and training facility.

Newlands Community Development Trust will also fund an additional post that will enable the centre manager to focus on new income streams for the centre, including investigating a community transport scheme which would enable the centre to be more accessible, especially at weekends.

A development officer will be sought by Tweedsmuir Community Company to assist with the development of the Crook Inn site. This includes business planning and securing funding and assisting with the management of the café and bunk house when opened.

Councillor Robin Tatler, chairman of the Tweeddale Area Partnership

“This funding will further empower these three active community groups to take forward local projects and plans that benefit the immediate community and economy. All three are to be commended for playing their part with such vision and effort.”

More information

Visit the South of Scotland Economic Partnership's website for more information about the Partnership.