Over £620,000 awarded to support community groups across region

Projects across Dumfries and Galloway have been awarded £626,895 to support community facilities and mitigate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

The Community Led Local Development (CLLD) programme was open to Dumfries and Galloway-based charities, constituted community groups, co-operatives, public sector organisations, small and medium-sized enterprises, community interest companies, and community benefit societies.

The funding was split into a Small Revenue Grants Programme open to applications up to £3,000 with 13 applications funded totalling £33,983.98. A Main Revenue and Capital Grants Programme saw up to £60,000 available with 28 applications funded totalling £56,000 capital and £536,911.59 in revenue.

A Local Action Group (LAG) made up of representatives from the third, public, and private sectors decided what applications were successful, with administrative support from Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway (TSDG).

There were four priorities within Dumfries and Galloway:

• Enabling community facilities / assets to make changes in pursuit of becoming carbon neutral.

• Supporting activities that enable small communities to avoid further loss of amenities, such as community transport, meeting places, and leisure and sport facilities.

• Enabling service providers to deliver support to the most vulnerable and in need families across the region to help address the cost-of-living crisis and eradicate poverty.

• Supporting activities that identify and assess community needs in advance of the place planning production, such as consultation and engagement work.

LAG Chair Harry Harbottle said: “The CLLD Fund provides a vital support line for many community projects, particularly those that support the most vulnerable in our society. We have been amazed by the creativity that voluntary sector groups have demonstrated in their efforts to tackle the effects of declining public services and enduring poverty.

“We have also been able to fund local environmental projects that assist communities protect and enhance neighbourhood assets and prepare them for a more carbon neutral future.

“We look forward to next year’s allocation.  CLLD will continue to work with TSDG to ensure that this fund is spread evenly across the region and demonstrate what a relatively small amount of money can have a big effect on many communities.”

One of the successful projects will see funds from CLLD being used to install solar panels and an air source heat pump at the Community Reuse Shop in Stranraer.

Donna McKeand, Programme Manager, said: “Investing in renewable energy technologies allows us to become more self-reliant in terms of energy production. Solar panels and an air source heat pump will generate electricity and heat on-site, reducing reliance on external energy suppliers and potential price fluctuations. 

“By installing these renewable energy technologies, we aim to decrease our carbon footprint and contribute to mitigating climate change. This demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and environmentally responsible practices.”

A total of £14,200 went to South West Scotland RnR to pay for HGV training for Dumfries and Galloway veterans.

Robin Hood, from the organisation, said: “Not only does the grant enable Veterans to get their lives back and have dignity and self-respect, it also helps out the entire region’s economy. Individuals are no longer claiming benefits but instead are paying income tax and Council Tax.

“Counselling is no longer required and this takes the pressure off the NHS.  Veterans are spending in their local community and delivering the region’s goods, which boosts the economy, and the individuals’ families are happier helping the next generation develop.”

Upper Nithsdale Netball Club were awarded funding for a Community netball new year block.
Upper Nithsdale Netball Club were awarded funding for a Community netball new year block.

Projects funded in this round were:

Successful organisation – Project name – Amount awarded (alphabetical order)

Action for Children – Financial lifelines for families in Upper Nithsdale – £16,600

The Upper Nithsdale project by Action for Children addresses financial difficulties for children and families. The funds are divided into the Crisis Fund, providing emergency financial help for essentials, and the Enrichment Fund, offering grants for enriching activities.

Ae Bike Association – Association equipment – £11,935

The provision of formal training for volunteers in the maintenance of the trails and the purchase of secure storage for trail tools and equipment.

All Roads Lead to Whithorn – Whithorn community-led housing phase 2 – £59,831

Following the successful completion of the first two community-owned family homes in 2022, All Roads Lead to Whithorn are planning to develop the land behind the former hotel, resulting in the creation of two further community-owned homes, which will be affordable in terms of rents and running costs.

Annandale Community Transport Services – Community transport in Annandale and Eskdale – £13,000

To provide 175 minibus hires for community groups covering a wide range of activities, including services that help overcome the isolation of the elderly and disabled such as lunch clubs, Capability Scotland, Chest, Heart and Stroke, small schools, and sports teams to travel together to activities and socialise.

Auchencairn Climate Transition (ACT) – ACT community workshop – £25,949

This project will provide a Community Workshop, powered by renewable energy, which will be used to repair and maintain bicycles and e-bikes for community use, and to deliver workshops and training modules focusing on sustainability, recycling and saving money. It will act as a hub for people to share skills and knowledge and support each other in developing a more resilient and sustainable community and serve as a model for low-impact activities for a Just Transition to Net Zero.

Auchencairn Climate Transition – Community market days – £2,960

This project aims to engage the local community in activities that support local and community enterprise and encourage table top entrepreneurs.

Building Futures Galloway – Workshop fitting – £20,519.84

Workshops in the depot are now being fitted out to provide safe, warm workspaces for young people to train in, which will be a key part of the new accredited Youth Training Centre. And, with the help of funding, it will start to re-roof the former Smiddy as a metal workshop.

Building Futures Galloway – Whithorn Retrofit – £31,049.64

The project is part of a wider refurbishment to bring the building back into public use after a 10-year hiatus. A key part of the process of creating and installing these features is the training of young people to learn woodworking skills associated with making traditional shutters to combat extremes of heat and cold, as well as making sash and casement windows with high performance glazing.

Buittle Quest – Buittle parish place plan – £6,000

To support the development of the Buittle Parish Place Plan.

Castle Douglas Development Forum – Castle Douglas local place planning project (CDLPP) – £2,891

To organise and oversee the process of engaging the town and surrounding communities in creating a Local Place Plan.

Castle Douglas Development Forum Castle Douglas – Commission for a Sustainability and Environmental Strategy Advisor – £3,000

The engagement of a consultant to develop a policy, route map and action plan that will align the Castle Douglas Development Forum with sustainable and environmentally responsible practices and help to achieve a positive impact on the environment.

Clanwell Hive – Family Activity Days – £9,810

Family Activity Days (FAD) address the needs of local families by providing accessible community events. These days bring together various services and classes into collective events, making them financially feasible for families and fostering connections in rural communities. The initiative aligns with A Connect Scotland’s goal of creating opportunities for people to connect and addresses social isolation, especially in younger individuals and those in rural areas.

Creation Mill CIC- Future in Textiles phase 2 extra – £4,340

Creation Mill’s project collaborates with local schools to introduce young people to the textile industry through workshops. The project aims to provide travel opportunities for students, visits to educational providers, exhibitions, and museums, along with additional workshops for schools in rural areas of Dumfries and Galloway.

DG Voice – Poverty lifeline and increasing incomes – £30,825

The Poverty Project aims to support disabled people and families in financial crisis by piloting the opening of a safe space where disabled people and families can use free wifi and offering face-to-face and online sessions on how to start their own small businesses.

Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project – Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project – £20,000

Group activities or events range from quiet and reflective scrapbooking sessions, where memories are recorded in words and pictures, to picnics in the park and an annual visit to the pantomime to improve social and communication skills.

Dumfries Day Centre – Food provision: fridges – £1,917

New refrigerators to safely store raw and prepared food to provide nutritious meals to members at the centre and other vulnerable people in the community.

Gatehouse Development Initiative – GHPS MUGA Project – £15,975

The project will create a new MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) pitch on the grounds of the local primary school to be used by local school children and also local community groups, including 14-25 year olds and the elderly with a walking football facility.

Gatehouse Development Initiative – Gatehouse community-led affordable homes – £59,720

The main aim of the Gatehouse community-led affordable homes project is to deliver community-led, sustainable and affordable community housing to enable those with a local connection to Gatehouse, who wish to live and/or work in the community, to afford to live locally.

Gatehouse of Fleet Community Centre – Development project (pre-planning application enquiry stage) – £12,288

This is the essential next stage in the overall Gatehouse Community Centre redevelopment project to ensure the town has a community centre for the future and will cover the cost of a planning pre-application enquiry.

Gretna FC 2008 – LED lighting project – £10,312

The LED lighting project consists of the conversion of all lights and fixtures in the stadium to LED and the supply and installation of new electricity meters to support and monitor the use of electricity in the stadium.

Kate’s Kitchen – Kate’s Kitchen community food hub – £31,601

Fund allows to continue to support people out of poverty. As part of Kate’s Kitchen services, it is the continuation of the delivery of meals on wheels to vulnerable elderly people in Annandale.

Kirkconnel Parish Heritage Society – Kirkconnel Community Transport – £2,975.13

Kirkconnel Community Transport provides affordable and accessible transport for a wide range of local groups. The Kirkconnel Heritage minibus is a core part of the community and a vital resource for many groups in the area.

Kirkmaiden Community Harbour Trust – 100-year-old steps upgrade – £3,000

The area the Trust cares for is a small harbour and foreshore. This project will provide the community of Kirkmaiden with a new set of steps to take them forward for the next 100 years.

KPT Development Trust – Community Gardener – £4,400

The project plans to employ a part-time gardener to complement the Garden Mentor position, carry out practical tasks and co-ordinate volunteers in practical gardening and general gardening tasks. The project will also continue to work with a local primary school to provide gardening sessions for the children and gardening workshops for adults.

Loreburn Housing Association – UPSIDE (Using Property Sensors to Identify Detrimental Environments) – £12,030

This project installs environmental sensors in 20 properties in Carsons Knowe, New Galloway, monitoring CO2, humidity, and temperature to detect issues like mould and poor air quality. Data is uploaded to a cloud-based system, and households access user-friendly information through an app, gaining control over their living environments.

Moniaive Playcare (SCIO) – Two-year-old nursery provision – £3,000

This is an extension of the Early Years provision to include 2-3 year olds. It is planned to provide a maximum of 1140 hours per year for an additional 10 children in an environment that meets the needs of the younger children.

Nest Nurturing Futures – Forest school – £2,880

Two forest school sessions on Wednesdays during term-time. This is for children who are home-schooled or flexi-schooled, most of whom have been diagnosed with a disability or are awaiting assessment for a diagnosis.

Newstart Recycle – Newstart Recycle – £2,775

To provide services and support to those in the community who need it most and those in the community affected by low income and poverty through the provision of essential household goods, clothing and footwear at an affordable cost or free to those most in need.

Newstart Recycle – Newstart Recycle – £32,500

To provide services and support to those in the community who need it most and those in the community affected by low income and poverty through the provision of essential household goods, clothing and footwear at an affordable cost or free to those most in need.

Nith Valley Leaf Trust – Closeburn shop and café – £2,450

A community store is a place where surplus food can be shared within the community, reducing food waste and supporting those experiencing food poverty.

Parents Inclusion Network – Parents Inclusion Network – £1,994

This grant will enable families with children to attend a pantomime event, giving the children the opportunity to see the panto, meet the cast and receive a small Christmas present.

Propagate Scotland – Glenkens Food Hub Development – £16,454 (Main picture)

The Glenkens Food Hub is a project to create a thriving, producer-led, community-involved, sustainable, not-for-profit local supply chain. The Hub shortens food supply chains and improves community resilience.

Rokpa Trust Lothlorien Community – Lothlorien on prescription – £2,907.41

This project is a feasibility study into the delivery of green/social prescribing based on the 17-acre site of Lothlorien Therapeutic Community with a focus on physical activity, nature, horticulture, community, confidence and relationship building.

Southwest Scotland RnR – HGV training for Dumfries and Galloway veterans – £14,200

This project is an opportunity for a waiting list of six veterans from Dumfries and Galloway who are all struggling to access tailored training, gain their Class 2 HGV licence and secure employment to support themselves and their families.

The Fed Up Community Café – Online community larder – £3,921

The project plans to create an online shop which will allow people who need to use the food bank to select items from the online shop to match exactly what they need to eat. The ‘meal packs’ will come with a recipe book to show them how to cook them and suggestions for other low cost, easy to prepare low-cost meals.

The Furniture Project (Stranraer) Ltd – Solar panels / air source heat – £9,103

The project aims to install solar panels, batteries, and an air to water heat pump to reduce the carbon footprint and save on energy costs.

The Mid Galloway Community Day Centre for Older People at Newton Stewart -The Riverside Centre – £17,584.57

It is planned to refresh The Riverside Centre facilities, including a new coat of paint and furniture, and to offer additional services like a hairdressing service. The grant also includes funds for a publicity campaign and a new website to increase awareness. The centre plans to conduct research to understand any unmet needs among its client group, striving to adapt and expand its services accordingly.

The Stove Network – Digital hubs project (Langholm and Sanquhar) – £26,700

This project supports two key community facilities in Sanquhar (A’ the Airts) and Langholm (Xcel Project) to develop on their engagement and service provision within their local communities and to deliver digital activities that address the need for access to digital skills and technology.

The Whithorn Trust – Future museum Whithorn – £21,480

The aim of the project is to commission architectural plans to replace the existing 1980’s single glazed front of the visitor centre with an energy efficient redesign that will improve our carbon footprint, make our museum more resilient and allow the building to be used all year round.

Upper Nithsdale Netball Club – Community netball new year block – £1,234.44

Twelve-week block of adult and junior netball sessions (one hour per week) to ensure affordability and accessibility to everyone.

Wigtown Bay Coastal Rowing Club – Isle of Whithorn community boatshed phase two – £55,310.00

The unique community boatshed on the Isle of Whithorn is now being created. The boatshed will provide access to coastal activities for all young people, adults and those with additional needs from across the Machars. Phase 2 will involve appointing a design team, preparing a tender document, obtaining planning permission and selecting and appointing a contractor.