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A trio of community initiatives are to receive funding financial aid from the Place Based Investment Fund.
The funding, worth £100,000 in total, was approved at last week’s Lochaber Area Committee meeting and will see projects in Kinlochleven, Fort William and Ardnamurchan benefit.
Investment in play provision in Kinlochleven (£50,000) will provide a contribution to play areas to be progressed in partnership with the local community and will be matched with external funds where possible.
The spend will be guided by and agreed with the community and the funding prioritised in line with these discussions. It’s hoped this will greatly improve both physical and mental well-being of young people in the ward as well as developing capacity within the community.
Investment in feasibility study for Upper Achintore Community Hub (£20,000) will address previously unmet needs of a large community and will build shared, local pride and a sense of community.
This project has been identified as the highest priority project within the locality plan and is being led by the Upper Achintore Regeneration Group (UARG). Commissioning of the feasibility study by UARG is the essential first step in achieving this goal.
Additionally, the study will develop community capacity building, encourage rebuilding of community networks through the feasibility and related consultation and will instil community confidence.
Investment in mental well-being projects in Fort William are to receive (£30,000) between them which will be made available to established community groups delivering successfully in the provision of mental health and well-being services.
Projects which aid recovery from the harms of COVID-19 will be supported.
In addition, Ward 11 Caol and Mallaig projects under the themes of play provision, youth facilities and physical and mental well-being are currently being developed. These will be reported to a future Area Committee.
Chair of Communities and Place Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: ‘The three proposed projects agreed today will benefit a wide range of people living within Fort William and Ardnamurchan.
‘The community spirit throughout Highland has been incredible during the pandemic, those living in the area are at the heart of the community and are best placed to gauge the most suitable projects to support recovery.
‘Play based outdoor activities for young people and safe spaces for people to reconnect after a long period of restrictions, isolation and for many a time of loneliness will be of real benefit. They will provide support against the harms of COVID-19 in areas of mental health and well-being.’
The Highland Council agreed at the financial budget in March 2021, a £100,000 Place Based Investment Fund allocation to each Ward for the 2021/22 financial year.
The fund is intended to enable a flexible local response to address the four harms of Covid-19 which are identified as direct health harms; health impacts not directly related to Covid-19; societal impacts and economic impacts.
The funds allocated will be managed by the Senior Ward Manager and any grants awarded of £10,000 or over reported to future Lochaber Area Committee for approval.