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Lochalsh Collaboration secure more than £100k of Scottish Government cash to spearhead community projects for residents in local communities

By Philip Murray

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Some of the Collaboration team gather to discuss plans.
Some of the Collaboration team gather to discuss plans.

A CASH injection looks set to help Lochalsh communities spearhead new projects aimed at making a real difference for residents.

Community groups and community councils in Lochalsh, under the name of Lochalsh Collaboration, have successfully secured £109,096 from the Scottish Government’s Investing in Communities Fund (ICF).

This will help them carry out extensive community consultation and develop community-led plans of action that should help sculpt projects aimed at making a difference locally.

The move came about after the Kyle & Lochalsh Community Trust (KLCT) successfully applied to the Scottish Communities Development Centre (SCDC) to develop collaboration with other groups in Lochalsh.

The action plans will help communities identify what matters to them and what should be done to make their areas stronger and fairer for all.

Jo Wawrzyczek, Development Officer for KLCT, said: “There are many groups in Lochalsh and we felt that we could channel our combined energy and enthusiasm more effectively if we worked together. It would also help to reduce duplication, ease the burden on volunteers, attract larger funding and send a stronger message as a collective than individual groups.”

The collaboration has been meeting for just over a year and now has 14 members, including community councils from Stromeferry in the north to the likes of Dornie, and Loch Duich in the south. Several community development trusts and community companies are also on board – and there is scope for more groups to get involved.

The new funding will cover the cost of local consultation events, a social survey to gather individual views, and pay for a community development officer for more than two years to help support it.

Mick Doyle, Head of Programmes for SCDC, said: “The local groups know how to get people involved and how to turn this into practical action. It's great that the Scottish Government has supported the process.“

The group is accepting applications for the new post. For details visit the KLCT website at www.lochalsh.uk

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