A project that aims to help provide a safe, clean and environmentally friendly garden space in the village of Shieldhill near Falkirk, is the first to receive £15k funding as part of the Kelvin Valley & Falkirk LEADER Programme in the Falkirk area.
The award will help the £45.6k Shieldhill Butterfly Project convert an uneven and unsafe sloping grassed area into a multipurpose garden that can be used both day and night for local groups and activities.
The funding will provide a new surrounding fence and wall; features to attract wildlife; new paths around the garden; new seating and planters; outdoor murals, information boards and decking installed along with many other features. It will provide a space and facilities open to the public every day as well as being available for community activities and functions.
The project has already attracted funding from Falkirk Council, Falkirk Environment Trust, the Church of Scotland Guild as well as local donations from businesses and is being run by the Shieldhill Brownies, church members and the local community.
The LEADER funding was awarded to the project as it was seen by the awards panel that the area currently has a lack of accessible community services and it met the criteria required.
Councillor Dennis Goldie, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development said: “The project will help see a real transformation in the Shieldhill community and the combined efforts of everyone involved have to be recognised.
“The LEADER fund is designed to help economic development in rural areas and we’d encourage other groups and businesses to find out more about how it can help by visiting their website.”
Ian Howarth, Chair of the Local Action Group, said: “Huge congratulations to Shieldhill Butterfly Project. Being the first community project to be awarded LEADER funding from the newly formed Kelvin Valley & Falkirk LEADER Board, we wish the Shieldhill committee and their residents much enjoyment once the garden is completed, that will hopefully bring a place for peace and reflection for all.
“The Board was impressed by the work carried out to date by the community and we are hopeful that other community applicants will come forward to the LEADER Programme.”
The background to the project started in 2013/14 when Girlguiding celebrated the Big Brownie Birthday - 100 years of Brownies. The Shieldhill Brownies, in celebrating the 100th birthday, looked to commemorate this event by giving something back to the local community and began fundraising. Support has come from the local community with both financial donations as well as donations of support in kind.
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