Home   News   Local community association with 60 years' service in the Garnock Valley receives £22k funding boost

Local community association with 60 years' service in the Garnock Valley receives £22k funding boost

Posted on 2 Apr 2024

A local community group dedicated to providing an inclusive, safe, and welcoming space for the community has received £22,098 in funding from the Council’s Community Investment Fund. 

The windfall was all thanks to the Garnock Valley Locality Partnership, who presented the application at a meeting of Cabinet in January 2024.

First established in 1964, Beith Community Association SCIO has been delivering a host of weekly clubs, activities, and support services to residents in the Garnock Valley over the last 60 years.

Based at Beith Community Centre on King’s Road, weekly activities coordinated by the association include toddler groups, a P7 youth group, a fitness class, a community shop, a men’s group, and more…  

Offering a vibrant hub of opportunities for the community to get involved in, the community association also recently opened an affordable community café - open Wednesday to Sunday* - that has proven popular with locals.

The CIF funding will be used to recruit an additional post holder alongside the existing Development Worker to enhance and further develop the capabilities of the community hub and explore external funding opportunities.

James Robson from Beith Community Association SCIO said: “Thank you to the Garnock Valley Locality Partnership, who have helped us to receive this incredible funding win from North Ayrshire Council.  Their support has been invaluable, and the community funding is going to ensure that we can expand our community hub to meet the needs of the local community. 

“We aim to use the funds to develop a hub that will provide an increased range of services and activities, encouraging the community to come together in a welcoming space, free from stigma, where local people can gain confidence, meet new friends and realise their full potential.  Having the extra hands-on deck supporting us is going to help us take our community hub to the next level."

Councillor Alan Hill, Cabinet Member for Communities and Islands said: “North Ayrshire Council is proud to support Beith Community Association with our latest instalment of Community Investment Funding for the communities of the Garnock Valley.

“Thank you to the Garnock Valley Locality Partnership for supporting the proposal and using their expertise to help this important community group.

“This is a brilliant example of a valuable community resource that supports the Garnock Valley’s Locality Priorities of enhancing the skills of those in the community, improving facilities and amenities, and creating accessible spaces to reduce social isolation. I look forward to seeing Beith’s community hub – a vital asset to residents – flourish further in 2024.”

The Council’s Community Investment Fund is all about community empowerment in action, and your community group or association can benefit too. Speak to your locality officer to find out more about how to apply.

Find out more about funding opportunities on North Ayrshire’s Community Planning Partnership website.

The newly opened Café Vibe at Beith Community Centre is open as follows:

  • Wednesday - 9am-3pm
  • Thursday - 9am-3pm
  • Friday - 9am-7pm
  • Saturday - 9am-7pm
  • Sunday - 10am-5pm

Beith Community Association are also responsible for the running of Beith Community Shop (also part of Beith Community Centre) – one of 14 community food larders operated by the Fairer Food North Ayrshire network where members can join to shop foods and groceries at a subsidised cost.

In recent years, they have restructured the Association into a more community-focused organisation, starting with the development of a community larder and removing many of the financial barriers to accessing classes and services within the centre, promoting social inclusion.

To find out more about your nearest community larder or support near you, visit the Council’s Cost of Living webpage: Cost of living support (north-ayrshire.gov.uk)