Review aims to generate further interest in Community Challenge Fund

Three community groups have applied successfully for funding.  Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company have taken over the village officer role of street cleansing, winter gritting of footpaths and some grounds maintenance.

Kirkmichael Trust in the Black Isle is to receive funding for its heritage centre project and Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust are in the final stages of taking over the running of the pontoons and public toilets in Kyle. Four other groups are actively working on their business cases.

To generate more interest, the Council has agreed to more widely promote the fund and in particular highlight the criteria and purpose of the fund.  This will include discussion at Area Committees and Ward Forums.  At the same time it is to provide more support to community groups with their applications and support Council staff to help with the implementation of the fund.

The Council will also widen the criteria to encourage community groups to provide services which prevent new demands for services arising from deprivation.  This would include rural deprivation and access to services in rural areas, reducing and preventing fuel poverty and supporting employability, including through voluntary activity.

Depute Leader Councillor David Alston said: “We believe that active communities make a real difference to the Highlands and want to further support the good work that is done through the development of Community Groups and initiatives supported by this special fund.”

The next expressions of interest to the fund should be submitted by 1 May, followed by a further two rounds on 1 August and 1 November.

Community councils, community groups and established social enterprises are invited to express their interest via a one-page form which is available from the home page of the Council’s web site: www.highland.gov.uk

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18 Mar 2014
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