Six-figure grants for Arbroath projects

Two Arbroath projects have been awarded six-figure sums from a fund aimed at improving communities and places across Angus.
The courthouse project received £281,000. (John M/Geograph)The courthouse project received £281,000. (John M/Geograph)
The courthouse project received £281,000. (John M/Geograph)

A total of £624,000 was granted at the recent Angus Council communities committee to four schemes to help in the drive towards economic recovery, increase local resilience and accelerate Community-Led Regeneration.

Community Astroturf Project, Arbroath has been granted £106,000 while £281,000 has been allocated to the Courthouse Community Facility.

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The creation of a Place-Based Investment Programme (PBIP), with £275 million of funding to support place-based working across Scotland, was announced in the 2020-21 Scottish Government Programme for Government.

Its intention is to ensure that all place-based investments are shaped by the needs and aspirations of local communities and accelerate ambitions for place-making, 20-minute neighbourhoods, town centre revitalisation, community-led regeneration, inclusive growth, local resilience, community wealth building and should work towards Net Zero targets.

Having distributed £720,000 from this fund in 2021, Angus Council has now approved £624,000 to fund the four projects this year. With place-based investment designed to be a multi-year programme, it is expected there will be further opportunities for funding in years to follow.

The PBIP is the first step in creating coherent local strategies to guide investment priorities and implement the ‘place principle’ - a key component of the new Programme for Government. Investment decisions must be shaped by the evidenced needs of local communities, and the ability to regenerate and revitalise towns and villages, help tackle inequality and disadvantage, and accelerate Scotland towards ‘net zero’ emissions targets.

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Submitted projects in Angus were assessed on criteria including zero net, sustainability and how deliverable projects were in the short timescale of this year’s fund.

Councillor Mark McDonald, committee convener said: “We have been very pleased to allocate funding awards for this year, but it is also vital that other local groups, companies and organisations develop plans now that will give them the best possible position to take advantage of this funding in future years.

“The bids for funding far exceeded the funding available this time around. That meant we had to prioritise those projects that were ready and able to deliver on their plans this year. It has been a difficult task.

"The projects we have selected are strong, have robust plans and good community buy-in.

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"Our community development officers will continue to work with the project leads of the unsuccessful projects and our Funding Officer will offer continued support for external funding applications.”

This astroturf project will provide the Arbroath community and surrounding rural areas with the town’s first ever 3G AstroTurf facility, with floodlights and enclosed fencing.

It will be available to the whole community and operate from 8am-10pm, seven days a week, with a projected 4800 participants in the first year.

The project will provide local volunteering and employability pathways and tackle inequalities, with the group working in partnership to deliver collaborative projects for Arbroath.

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The vision for the former Court House on the town's High Street, created by the Trust in consultation with the community, is to create a community-owned and community-run centre that follows the principles of sustainable development.

The intention is to develop an accessible, flexible multi-purpose facility that caters for all age groups.

It will provide opportunities for social engagement, volunteering, learning and skills development as well as reducing isolation.

The Place Base Investment fund will secure the match funding to ensure the building is made water and wind tight before the project progresses to the next stage.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​