Forward West Fife, a locally established steering group, is calling on five communities in West Fife to get involved in deciding how to spend £170,000 to improve their local area.
Residents and groups in Kincardine, Culross, Low Valleyfield, High Valleyfield, Newmills and Torryburn are being asked to come up with ideas for projects to improve the local community.
Scottish Power and Fife Council have created two pots of funding to help regenerate the area following the closure of Longannet Power Station and as a result of the ash lagoon incident in 2017. The allocation of the funding will be overseen by the Forward West Fife Steering Group, which is made up of representation from the five community councils and the West Fife Villages Forum.
The Steering Group are leading on a participatory budgeting exercise where local residents can generate ideas for how the money can be spent. Residents will also be able to be part of the decision-making process when it comes to allocating the funds.
Depute Convener of the council’s South and West Fife Area Committee Cllr Graeme Downie hopes that there’s strong interest from local people in shaping how the Forward West Fife funding is invested. He said: "These kind of opportunities are all about giving people a direct say in where funds can most make a difference to their community. People and groups in the villages in West Fife always have fantastic ideas about how to improve their area and I am sure we will see a range of ideas and suggestions again from people who can deliver amazing projects using a share of this funding."
A Legacy Fund of £120,000 will be used to fund projects (up to a maximum of £10,000 per project) that include any of these five themes:
Protection of environment and reduction of climate change impact
Development of knowledge, skills and education
Development of ‘good neighbour’ practices and community development
Development of heritage, culture and creativity within the local community
Support of the most disadvantaged or needy with a focus on poverty prevention
Ideas that meet the Plan 4 Fife’s ambitions will also be considered – opportunities for all / thriving places / inclusive growth and jobs / community led services.
An additional £50,000 Energy and Climate Fund (up to a maximum of £10,000 per project) is inviting applications based on one of two themes:
Environmental improvements, or
Renewable energy / energy efficiency
Examples could include solar or wind power sources for local projects, cycling schemes, walking initiatives, community food growing, training on environmental or wildlife issues.
Cllr Sam Steele has also been involved in the project. She added: “Support and advice is available from any of the five well established and highly experienced community councils involved in the Forward West Fife Steering Group. I’d encourage anyone with an improvement idea to get in touch with them to chat through how their suggestion fits with the funding criteria and most importantly - how to turn the idea into an application.”
For more information, contact Forward West Fife through your local community council, e-mail [email protected] or visit the Our Fife website. If you're not part of a formal community group or organisation, the Council will try to match you up with one that the funding could be awarded to.