RURAL communities are being urged to take advantage of a new initiative which could boost the local economy and is aimed at communities outwith the main town boundary.
The Money for Moray scheme lets the community decide which local projects will receive cash grants, from a partnership between council and goverment.
Moray Council has match-funded a Scottish Government grant of £60,000 for the area to support projects approved by the community.
Groups with projects based in the towns of Elgin, Keith, Lossiemouth, Forres and Buckie are ineligible to apply as these areas already have access to economic development funds via the Four Towns Partnership fund and Elgin BID. However, if your group is based in one of these towns and is planning a project outwith the town boundary it may be eligible.
The new initiative is being administered by a working group consisting of volunteer representatives of community groups in Moray, supported by Moray Council’s Community Support Unit.
"Any local community, voluntary or non-profit organisation can apply for funding, from £200 to a maximum of £5000," said Les Morgan, chair of the Findhorn and Kinloss Community Council who is part of the new taskforce.
"Projects should provide economic benefit for as many people as possible from across the community, and help improve the area as a place to live."
So, if you want to start up a childcare club in your local hall, put up story-telling boards on well-used footpath, begin a community café or bus club, if it brings some economic development to your area it could attract funding.
The first Money for Moray pilot project will lead to a public event on Saturday, May 28 in Grant Hall, Rothes, where those in attendance will vote on which applicants should receive a share of the fund. A second event will follow later in the year.
Application forms are now available, with a closing date of April 22 for the first round of grants. Email CSU@moray.gov.uk for more information or phone Les on 01309 676716.
Forms are available from this link: