South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed a £753,000 funding boost for the Coalfields Regeneration trust (CRT) to support its work with former coalfields communities across Scotland including Ayrshire and Upper Nithsdale.
The CRT has used Scottish Government funding of £17 million to support more than 900 projects since 2002.
The new funding will directly support grass roots community groups in Ayrshire and Upper Nithsdale, Lothian, Clydesdale and Strathkelvin and Fife and Central Scotland to promote volunteering and community involvement, and engage local people in activities that will improve their health.
This is as well as supporting CRT in its advisory role and in undertaking the work it does with communities.
Forming either capital or revenue investment, local groups will be awarded between £500 to £10,000.
Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess, made the announcement during a visit to Netherthird Community Action Training in Cumnock.
The organisation, which previously received £50,000 in CRT funding, provides young people with training and employment opportunities in garden maintenance and landscaping across Cumnock and surrounding areas.
SNP MSP Ms McAlpine said:
“Community anchor organisations drive change across a broad spectrum of activity including environmental issues, promoting local economic growth, tacking unemployment and engaging in arts and cultural activity.
“This is evident at Netherthird Community Action Training, where young people have been helped into employment through its variety of training placements, modern apprenticeships and work placements.
“The Scottish Government’s commitment to provide the Coalfields Regeneration Trust with £753,000 in funding will deliver direct support to organisations operating in coalfield communities.
“This funding will help local people strengthen their own communities through active citizenship and community learning.
“The regeneration of our most disadvantaged communities is vital to help make them a better place for the people who live there, to help build better local economies and create employment opportunities.”
Notes to Editors
Netherthird Community Action Training – Cumnock
Netherthird Community Action Training (NCAT) is a registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) which provides young people with training and employment opportunities in garden maintenance and landscaping across Cumnock and surrounding areas.
NCAT was established in 2012 following on from the success of being the Coalfields Community Challenge 2011 Winner receiving a financial award of £50,000 to kick start the social enterprise.
Since its inception, NCAT has provided a variety of training placements, modern apprenticeships and work placements to young people not already in training, employment or education. Many young people who served their time during their apprenticeship have secured employment, whilst others on work experience have gone onto further education.
NCAT has successfully tendered for maintenance contracts at the Barony A Frame, a local factory outlet and East Ayrshire Council. NCAT also provides maintenance at Netherthird Development Trust’s community garden which enables trainees to benefit from one to one support.
The community garden benefits from skilled and experienced staff members of NCAT assisting them with the up keep of the garden. Once a week a member of NCAT provides guidance and coaching to volunteers in vegetable growing.
NCAT is in negotiations with East Ayrshire Council to establish a new training programme in gardening aimed at those with additional needs; as part of the Certificate in Work Competency initiative.
Cumnock and its surrounding areas suffer from high levels of deprivation; gardens were often unkempt, reducing community spirit and making the communities visibly unattractive. NCAT now bridges this gap, by providing low cost garden maintenance, reducing the untidiness of the communities and restoring faith in young people.
NCAT has secured further funding from the Change Fund, East Ayrshire Council, The Robertson Trust and The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, and is scheduled to generate approximately £10,000 in revenue this financial year.