Four local projects receive major funding boost
Four East Ayrshire projects have received almost £1.3 million of funding from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund which will help people into work; provide skills, training and support; improve leisure and cultural provision in rural communities and help the environment too.
Community projects All in East Ayrshire, Re-use Hub for New Cumnock, Leisure at the Heart of All Communities and the Support to Engage Project have all been successful in gaining funding after East Ayrshire Council was one of the councils selected by the UK Government to bid on behalf of projects back in May this year.
£75,337 has been awarded for the development of a Re-use Hub in New Cumnock by New Cumnock Development Trust. The hub will operate as a social enterprise, developing skills and creating sustainable jobs as well as being a welcoming space for the community to come together to learn, share and socialise.
The project will begin by refurbishing and repairing IT and computer equipment and bikes, adding in small household electrical appliance repairs as the skills base grows. All of these re-use activities will provide skills, training and apprenticeships for young people, and there will also be formal training provided for older people who have lost jobs and need to learn new skills or trades and build up their C.V. as well as their confidence.
The Re-use Hub also has a key role to play in education and providing practical information about waste reduction and living less wastefully, hopefully encouraging people to see that they have a part to play and can make a real difference through their actions and choices.
All in East Ayrshire, run by Enable, has received funding of £454,234 to provide a unique service for people who experience multiple or complex barriers to progressing into employment. It will help residents of any age to find and retain a job through an innovative five-stage personalised approach.
The project aims to improve the life chances and choices for people across East Ayrshire by helping them to get into well paid, productive, and sustainable jobs and it will support East Ayrshire’s ambition to have more people in work, supporting those hardest to reach and addressing poverty successfully.
Leisure at the Heart of All Communities, managed by East Ayrshire Leisure Trust, aims to use its £681,790 funding to bring cultural, heritage and greenspace activities right into the heart of every community. It hopes to connect rural communities to services and activities that their location might otherwise exclude them from using.
The project will establish four mobile units: the Festival Bus, which will deliver cultural programmes and take events, workshops and programmes into communities; the ‘Branching Out’ Bus which, in partnership with Ayrshire College, will bring rural skills into greenspaces that can then be used to enhance communities; the Digital Communities Bus which will give people the opportunity to improve their digital skills as well as providing a safe environment in which young people can work and study; and finally the ‘Activity on the Go’ Bus, which will support the CHIP Van and primary care providers by providing lifestyle pathways for people suffering from chronic disease and illness.
The final amount of £86,958 was awarded to Auchinleck Community Development Initiative’s ‘Support to Engage Project’ (STEP). This is a new initiative that will provide a support programme to rural communities across Ayrshire (Auchinleck, Muirkirk, Catrine, Logan and Lugar). The programme is being designed to engage with individuals who experience barriers to employment, education and training opportunities and will include those who are unemployed, on low incomes, ex-offenders, and those experiencing mental health and wellbeing or addiction issues.
Working in conjunction with the East Ayrshire Work (Employability) Partnership, the programme will target 45 beneficiaries over the age of 16 who will be identified through direct engagement and outreach activities. They can then engage with support services focusing on mental health and wellbeing; soft skills development including literacy, numeracy and teamwork; and they can receive external employability, education, and training opportunities.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council, welcomed the announcement, saying: “This funding will provide an incredible boost to these important community projects and will help to strengthen the communities in which they are based.
"All of the successful projects complement our existing work and align to our strategic priorities from investing in skills and employment opportunities for people of all ages, to raising awareness of waste reduction and getting leisure and cultural services into our rural communities. This money is being spent on projects that can make a significant difference to local people and I look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of these over the coming year.”
Notes to editors
The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.
For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus