Council allocates scarce community cash

The Lochgilphead-based MS Centre will receive£2,500. Pictured are MS Centre outreach worker Claire Cameron, left and finance officer Isobel MacIntosh delivering gifts to the community during Covid lockdown

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Argyll and Bute Council will pay just over half of grant funding requests from community projects in Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands.

A document before council members on the authority’s Supporting Communities Fund has said that a total of more than £43,000 had been requested, but only £22,500 could be allocated.

Officers in the local authority recommended that the money should be shared among 12 different initiatives, with nine earmarked to receive no award.

Councillors agreed to the proposals at the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands Area Committee on Wednesday June 2.

Four projects are earmarked to receive the maximum grant of £2,500, including East Kintyre Community Council for works at Wellpark Wood Community Space.

Inveraray Community Council is also recommended to receive the same sum to hire a consultant to complete a community action plan.

Mid Argyll Multiple Sclerosis Centre has been recommended for £2,500 to help with printing booklets and support outreach visits and phone calls for those in need.

Kintyre charity Shopper-Aide Ltd has had funding earmarked for accompanied excursions for people affected by the Covid situation.

A report by officers to councillors said: ‘The total Supporting Communities Fund (SCF) budget made available by the council for allocation in Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands for 2021/22 is £22,500.

‘Following consultation on the SCF with the community and recommendations from this agreed at council on November 26 2020, organisations can apply for up to £2,500 and the period of spend is 18 months.

‘This is what the respondents of the consultation wanted. Improvements were also made to simplify the application process.

‘The SCF is a popular fund and has attracted 23 applications from the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands requesting a total of £43,622.96 in funding.

‘Due to Covid-19 restrictions applicants who received funding in 2020/21 were granted an extension to carry funds forward to March 2022.

‘Where an organisation has been recommended for an award and received funds in 2020/21, the award recommended within this report is either for a different project or the original award has been spent and an end of project monitoring form received.”

The projects not recommended for a grant award are operated by Artmap Argyll, Campbeltown Community Council, Craignish Village Hall and Dunadd Community Enterprise.

Also recommended to miss out are Family Mediation Argyll and Bute, the Minority Ethnic Carers of People Project, South Kintyre Seniors Forum and This Is Islay.

The ninth project, operated by ALIenergy, has instead been referred to the Community Planning Partnership for assistance with its efforts to reduce fraudulent activity due to Covid-19.