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by Jamie Buchan, The Courier, March 23 2019
More than 100 community groups will benefit from a new £1.2 million award scheme announced by Perth and Kinross Council.
Sports clubs, musicians, public halls and mental health services are among the first to benefit from the authority’s new Community Investment Fund.
The scheme, which was originally approved at last year’s budget talks, gives five “local action partnerships – made up of residents and community council members – the power to decide how the money is distributed.
The first round of funding, worth £600,000, has now been approved for 105 groups and projects across the region.
Money was sub-divided into 12 local authority wards, meaning £50,000 was made available for each area.
The cash will go towards, among other schemes, a redevelopment of Kettins Parish Hall, new equipment and uniforms for Blair Atholl Pipe Band and improvements to the Letham Community Hub.
Perth charity PKAVS, the Men’s Shed group in Stanley, the Perth and District YMCA, Perthshire Pride and the West Stormont Woodland Group have also been successful.
Council leader Murray Lyle said: “I am absolutely delighted to announce that the first £600,000 of awards have been agreed.”
He said: “The administration is determined to shift the balance from the council deciding what is best for communities, to trusting communities to come forward with worthwhile projects that need financial support, that they would find difficult to raise by themselves.
“It is a further demonstration of the council’s commitment to investing in communities and giving local people a greater say on how public money is spent in their communities.
“Importantly, the applications were sifted and agreed not by councillors, but by members of local communities across Perth and Kinross.”
In the first round, 149 applications totalling £1.59m were received. Mr Lyle said: “For the projects that didn’t make it this year, there is more to come.”
Local MSP Liz Smith welcomed the initiative: “The community investment fund is important for not only providing additional funding for people, but it encourages local community groups and projects to apply for the money.
“Scores of groups will benefit from this funding across Perth and Kinross. New projects and initiatives were prioritised.”
The West Stormont Woodland project features today in the excellent North Perthshire Locality Newsletter. DON'T DELAY - JOIN UP TODAY.
by Jamie Buchan, The Courier, December 3 2018, 9.22am
Two historic woodlands that are being sold-off as part of a nationwide forestry shake-up could be revived as part of a community take-over bid.
Five Mile Wood at Stanley and Taymount, near Murthly, are being offloaded by Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES).
The body, which manages the estate on behalf of Scottish Government ministers, said the idea is to sell sites “that deliver few social, environmental or economic benefits” with proceeds ploughed into creating new woodlands.
Now a steering group has formed to investigate bringing both woods into community ownership under the Community Asset Transfer Scheme.
The West Stormont Woodland Group has been busy recruiting members, while gathering support on social media.
Around 250 people have so far backed the ambitious project.
Group members are in talks with local landowners and residents to gauge interest in a takeover, while draft plans are being drawn up to show how the sites could be improved to benefit visitors and people living in the local area.
The group’s spokesman said members were given a “helpful, informative and inspiring” tour of the woods by FES foresters.
He said: “All of this is working towards bigger community consultation activity in 2019.
“WSWH invites anyone with an interest in the prospect of our community owning these woodlands to get involved at any time. Anyone with special skills which could help in this amazing adventure should get in touch.”
West Stormont was the name used in medieval times to cover the parishes of Auchtergaven, Kinclaven, Logiealmond, Moneydie, Redgorton and the Murthly portion of Little Dunkeld.
FES also hopes to sell off a third Perthshire site, Dalrulzion near Glenshee. Together, the three sites represent 2,100 acres of woodland.
Five Mile Wood is well used by dog walkers, although it gets mixed reviews on Tripadvisor. Some visitors have complained about poor parking, with others claiming there’s nothing much to see inside the wood itself.
Taymount, the smallest of the three at 380 acres, boasts a range of conifers and is popular with cyclists.
West Stormont Woodland Group
Monthly Community Update (November 2018)
Look us up! West Stormont Woodland Group Email us: email@example.com Thank you.