SCOTTISH Borders Council has issued a rallying call to communities throughout the region to take advantage of the funding opportunities available to them.
The local authority say ‘there has never been a better time’ for communities to come together to make a difference whether they want to have an event; refurbish a building or derelict piece of ground, or simply buy equipment to help groups in their area to thrive.
Residents can make a difference locally with a grant from a variety of sources.
During 2011 communities in the Scottish Borders received more than £430,000 from the National Lottery’s small grant scheme Awards for All. Grants have been made to schools, flower clubs, village hall committees, and youth and childcare groups, with a number of beneficiaries in Berwickshire.
In addition to encouraging access to the Awards for All programme the council also operates the SBC Community Grant Scheme. This predominantly funds the same kind of projects as the Awards for All programme and you can use both to fund a larger project.
Another funding option is the Heritage Lottery Fund, which projects such as Greenlaw Town Hall and Gunsgreen House have benefited from.
Jean Robertson, SBC’s Funding Officer, explained: “It is that time of year again when communities are often thinking about what they would like to achieve over the next 12 months.
“If you are involved in a group and have been thinking about expanding your activities, changing something in your community, or celebrating an event please contact us to discuss your ideas and we will be happy to advise on the right funding source for you.
“As we look ahead, the Olympic Torch will also be carried through the Borders by local people on June 14. If communities are planning activities surrounding this event it is important that they contact the Council as soon as possible for advice on any funding that might be available.
“Many funding applications require applications to be submitted about three months before an event so it’s important communities seek advice now.”
Leader of the Council, Councillor David Parker, added: “We are absolutely delighted to support communities in the Borders to seek funding for some very special projects which can help our region thrive into the future.
“We have a dedicated team of staff committed to supporting residents who are seeking the right funding for them – no matter how big or small the event or project.”
If a community is planning an event for the Olympic Torch Relay on June 14 it is absolutely vital that they tell the Council about it.
This will ensure their community plans fit in with the overall plans for the Torch Relay route in the Borders and everyone involved in the celebrations stays safe.
For more on the Olympic celebrations in the Borders go to www.scotborders.gov.uk choose ‘Community Life and Leisure’ and then ‘Olympic Games 2012’
On March 7, SBC’s Convener, along with Lord Lieutenants, will announce details of a special fund for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee events.
If you would like to find out more about funding opportunities please contact the Council’s Funding Officer, Jean Robertson on 01835 826543 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Cornwall on 01835 826659 or e-mail email@example.com.