Over £65K funding go ahead for North Coast
Posted on 11 Mar 2020
The North Coast and Cumbraes Locality Partnership has secured significant funding for local community groups, thanks to the North Ayrshire Council Community Investment Fund.
With various groups being awarded, the first approval by council members sees the early release of £30,000 for the Millport Town Hall building restoration project.
The award will be part of the £200,000 allocation, previously agreed by Cabinet in August 2019 to be ringfenced for the building restoration project set to take place in 2021.
Crucial to begin the restoration, the fund will be used to embark upon necessary architectural and quantity surveyor works which will inform the crucial, next steps of the much-anticipated building restoration.
Angie McCallum, Millport Town Hall charity volunteer said: “Thanks to the recent CIF funding, we are now in a position to begin the planning application and building warrant works for our landmark regeneration project.
“First built in 1878, the island’s town hall was once at the heart of community life. Since falling into a state of disrepair, a fantastic group of volunteers have been leading the Friends of Millport Town Hall community effort to restore this important historical building back to its former glory.
“With adaptations and restoration, the building will serve as an exciting community hub space and heritage centre which can be used by all for community events and activities.
“We aim to use the indoor space as a tourist attraction which will play host to a series of large scale events including art exhibitions and theatre performances. There will be facilities for the community groups to enjoy and we hope to also host a programme of traditional music and dance lessons.
“The long and important history of the island and the Clyde Estuary will also be championed in the heritage centre and the opening of the space will bring employment opportunities, skills training and volunteering positions for local people.
“We have no doubt that the project will help to boost the economy of the island and we are grateful to North Ayrshire Council for their continued support.”
In addition, a sum of more than £35,000 has also been agreed to support the introduction of a new Project Officer for the North Coast and Cumbrae Locality Partnership.
The successful candidate will be responsible for nurturing projects with local organisations to support the three locality priorities – to promote financial inclusion, tackle social isolation in the elderly community and support youth mental health and well-being across Cumbrae and the North Coast.
Some of the new officer’s time will be spent supporting the growth of support services at The Living Room in Largs and building connections with other local organisations who are working on these high-priority themes.
Reverend Jonathan Fleming, one of the founders of The Living Room said: “It is fantastic news that we will soon have a dedicated Project Officer on board to help us support visitors to our drop-in community hub at The Living Room, Aitken Street, Largs.
“The Project Officer will work alongside our dedicated and skilled volunteers based at The Living Room to help people journeying with issues such as loss, financial struggles or family situations, all of which can adversely affect one’s mental health.
“By working together, our aim for The Living Room is to continue to develop as a thriving community space with drop-in provision for people of all ages, where anyone can feel safe and at home to freely share their issues and be signposted to effective solutions that could greatly improve their future mental health and well-being.”
Since the launch of the Community Investment Fund in 2017, North Ayrshire Council has provided a total sum of £468,000 to successful CIF applications in the North Coast and Cumbraes Locality Partnership.
Councillor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Communities said: “The Community Investment Fund provides a brilliant opportunity for us to find out what matters most to people in our communities and allow us to fairly allocate funding accordingly.
“We are delighted to have helped support both the Millport Town Hall restoration project and the North Coast and Cumbrae Locality Partnership in their commitment to develop local solutions and empower residents of the local community.”
The Community Investment Fund is a key component in the Council’s Fair for All Strategy which is designed to alleviate poverty and reduce inequalities across the region.
Shared across the six localities – Arran, Garnock Valley, Irvine, Kilwinning, North Coast and Three Towns – the fund has been created to help each Locality Partnership to identify and invest in specific local priorities to develop stronger communities.