Two Falkirk groups are celebrating a cash injection of £240,426 from the National Lottery.
Forth Environment Link (FEL) has received a Big Lottery Fund award of £148,896 to support its newly opened community hub on Falkirk High Street.
Revive Falkirk, which launched earlier this month, aims to tackle the town’s throwaway culture by selling upcycled goods and teaching upcycling skills through a series of workshops from sewing to joinery.
The next phase, which includes a Falkirk active travel hub, community meeting and office space, a multipurpose studio and an extensive volunteering programme, will be launched in early 2018.
The Big Lottery Fund award will be used to staff the project over the next three years.
Graham McQueen, development manager at FEL, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have this support from the National Lottery for our community project in Falkirk. We’re working with the community, local groups and the council to develop an original, exciting and vibrant community asset to get people back into the town centre and help reinvigorate the heart of Falkirk.
“Over the next few years, we’ll be running several environmentally focused projects from the building and this funding will allow us to employ two key members of staff from the local area, who will support and empower the local community through training, volunteering opportunities and education.”
Also celebrating is Falkirk Community Trust, which picks up an award of £91,530 for a project helping hundreds of older people to come together, share memories and make new friends.
Lesley O’Hare, culture and libraries manager, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding for our project Care Words. Led by our libraries team, we will use reminiscence, poetry and companionship to help reduce the isolation and loneliness experienced by older people in and around the town.
“We will be able to recruit and train local volunteers who will lead a range of activities from reading groups and poetry sessions.
“These shared activities will help people come together to listen, read aloud and share thoughts and experiences.
“Over the next three years, this project will reach out to 450 older people in day and residential care settings whilst developing new skills for over 40 new local volunteers.”
Announcing the grants, Maureen McGinn, chairperson of Big Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “I am delighted to see two community projects in Falkirk benefitting from this National Lottery investment.
“Together they will bring new employment and volunteering opportunities to the area, which will give local people an opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and play a fuller role in their community.”
The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK.
The fund is responsible for giving out 40 per cent of the money raised by the National Lottery and invests over £650 million a year in projects big and small.