Hawick groups urged to bid for share of £78,000 kitty

Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall.
Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall.

Teries are being urged to seize the opportunity offered by a new £78,000 funding kitty.

Locality bid funding went live this week, with each of the five Borders localities being allocated a share of £500,000 based on their populations.

The cash fund was set up by Scottish Borders Council as part of its response to the 2015 Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act.

It is a chance to bid for cash to benefit local communities, with the successful schemes going to a public vote.

Teviot and Liddesdale, with the smallest population in the region, received the lowest amount from the funding pot – £78,000, to be distributed in two lots.

Stuart Marshall, chairman of the council’s Teviot and Liddesdale area locality committee, is urging fellow Teries to get bidding.

The Hawick and Denholm councillor said: “I’m delighted that this fund is now open, and we are now seeking local people and groups to come forward with their ideas on improving our communities between now and the start of December.

“People in Hawick, Denholm and everywhere else in the Teviot and Liddesdale area will get the opportunity to vote for their favourite project early next year, and it’s fantastic that all of these areas within the locality will now get a real say on how to spend this money.

“All bids received for each area will be reviewed by a panel of councillors and key council staff before going to a public vote and, judging by the interest already shown in this scheme, I am very confident that our locality will have no problem at all in distributing the funds.”

For further information, go to www.scotborders.gov.uk/localitiesbidfund.

Fellow Hawick and Denholm councillor Clair Ramage is also encouraging her constituents to make the most of the offer.

She said: “This is a great opportunity to gain funds for an idea or project that will benefit your community. It was originally called community empowerment, and that tells you exactly what the funds are expected to achieve.

“It went live on Monday, and the deadline is December 1. It will be voted on by our local community in January, and remember that it cannot be a Borders-wide project but must focus on your local community and it must also be a completely new idea.

“This is really exciting and allows local people to decide what they want to see happening in their area.

“Funding is core to any project, and I have seen personally how it can have a positive effect.”

“One example was the Vision 2014 project, which ran over four years and proved such a success.

“Your project may only need a few hundred pounds to succeed or it may require a few thousand pounds. The important thing is to aim high and apply. You know what they say – you have to be in it to win it.’”

Ms Ramage added: “It is important that we get as many applications as possible within the Teviot and Liddesdale area.

“There are five localities, and the funding was divided by the size of population in each area.

“Teviot and Liddesdale, with the smallest population, received the least amount of funding.

“This is being run as a pilot scheme, so I feel that if Teviot and Liddesdale shows how creative and innovative we can be, then we will have a stronger argument when the scheme is reviewed and hopefully receive a larger share of the funds.”