People across Argyll and Bute can look forward to derelict spaces within our key coastal towns being turned into temporary community assets thanks to grants from the new stalled spaces programme.
This innovative project seeks to empower communities and help them reconnect with their own particular area, building relationships with both the renovated community space and with neighbours and colleagues.
Following a round of publicity and events the council received seven applications to the £15,000 fund, five of which met the criteria. Each will receive around £2,500. These are:
· An area of green space next to 30 Argyll Road in Dunoon
· The former playground of the Rockfield Centre in Oban
· The former bowling green area of the Blarbuie Woods in the grounds of the Argyll and Bute Hospital in Lochgilphead
· The vacant lot in front of Park Terrace and next to the Guide Hall on McCallum Street in Campbeltown
· The gap site at 39-47 Watergate in Rothesay
The Dunoon project will see Argyll College lead on a scheme to enhance a vacant green space next to a housing development and turn it into a green gym.
The Oban Communities Trust is looking to create a community garden with seating at the old Rockfield Centre, which has lain vacant for some seven years.
In Lochgilphead the Blarbuie Woodland Social Enterprise will create a community growing space within the grounds of the Argyll and Bute Hospital. The grant from the stalled spaces fund will be used to purchase a polytunnel and to construct raised beds.
The Campbeltown project, run by the South Kintyre Development Trust, will decorate the gateway into the town using plants and landscaping along a marine and fishery theme.
In Rothesay, the gapsite at 39-47 Watergate will be transformed into a community growing space with raised beds and some interpretation material celebrating Rothesay’s maritime history.
Each of these projects involves the lead community group working with at least two others to improve the sites, with 19 groups in all working on the five projects.
These projects meet the themes of the Stalled Spaces Scotland project – growing, healthy living and youth activity – and all hope to use the areas of land on a temporary basis, not prohibiting any future development.
Having received a lot of interest from communities outwith Argyll’s main coastal towns the council is now looking to open up the scheme to a wider range of settlements: Sandbank, Inveraray, Tobermory, Cardross, Tarbert and Bowmore.
Applications to the fund are invited from these areas.
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