A new project will see the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) work in partnership with organisations and individuals with an interest in heritage across East Ayrshire to encourage more community-led generation.
As part of the Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership (CCLP), the Connecting Communities and Initiatives project will aim to build an enterprise culture and develop skills that will ultimately create new services and jobs.
This initiative has been made possible thanks to East Ayrshire receiving grants of more than £6 million to improve the cultural, natural and industrial heritage of the area. Of that total, £2.2m is coming from the CCLP and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) to add to £4m already allocated for landscape and heritage regeneration projects.
Part of CRT’s contribution will be to set-up an office for a newly created development manager post in East Ayrshire who will lead the creative regeneration project in former mining communities across the region.
Their role will be to focus on building the existing skills, knowledge and interests of individuals in the local community, develop social connections and build the confidence and skills of everyone involved.
They will also help local residents progress the heritage and tourism aspects of their five-year community action plans and secure funding to progress priority projects.
CRT will develop a framework of support by establishing local programmes which include a combination of group development support and training and combine the experience of a range of partners.
Pauline Douglas, CRT’s head of operations in Scotland, said: “Our experience tells us there is already a lot going on in relation to heritage in East Ayrshire but it’s happening in isolation, so a joined-up approach needs to be taken. Many heritage societies are working independently on their own projects and more collaboration is needed.
“We’ll bring together the heritage groups and individuals working on really interesting projects with the aim of co-ordinating all this activity to develop people’s skills and ultimately create sustainable jobs and boost the local economy.
“We would like to thank CCLP the NLHF and everyone who participates in the National Lottery for making this possible.”
The Connecting Communities and Initiatives project in East Ayrshire will also provide access to funding strategies and applications, promotion and marketing, social media development and general capacity building. It will bring in support from partner organisations and funders adding significant value for money and return on investment.
Image shows: Pauline Douglas, CRT’s head of operations in Scotland.