Twenty-one communities around Scotland will share £1.7 million of Scottish government funding to help revitalise their town centres, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil will announce today.

The money, which will come from a new Town Centre Community Capital Fund (TCCCF), is being earmarked to help communities deliver a wide range of capital projects such as the revitalising of Kilsyth Main Street (which will receive £139,500), the conversion of a derelict Victorian railway warehouse in Helensburgh in to a community facility (£145,000) to be called the Heroes Centre and the renovation of Ayr Gaiety Theatre (£100,000).

Other grants include £20,525 to bring Wi-Fi to Hamilton town centre, £35,000 towards a project to green the Main Street of Cambuslang, and £150,000 towards the installation of pontoons in Fort William.

Tomorrow, when Scottish ministers will visit Greenock as part of a travelling cabinet, Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil will visit the Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) Inverclyde which is set to receive £60,000 towards a project that will help breathe new life into Greenock’s Cathcart Street.

The funding will be used to develop a Greenock Community Hub, which will offer office accommodation, training spaces, a third sector innovation centre and information and advice services to people in the area.

Neil said that the new TCCCF fund would complement the government’s Town Centre Action Plan by giving communities the chance to tap into extra funding to improve their areas.

“By giving community organisations the opportunities to take action we can help make town centres the attractive and accessible thriving places we know they can be,” he said.

The £100,000 grant towards phase five of the restoration of Ayr’s landmark Gaiety Theatre, one of Scotland’s oldest theatres, follows the award earlier this year of a £500,000 loan from the Social Growth Fund and a grant of £90,000 from the government’s People and Communities Fund for 2015/16.

The restoration of the B-listed theatre, originally built in 1902, has a funding target of £2.4m. The historic theatre – which reopened two years ago – has played host to comedians, singers, variety acts and icons such as Sir Harry Lauder, the jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, Jimmy Logan and a host of other stars.

The new TCCCF is itself part of the larger £19.4m Empowering Communities Fund, which has invested in hundreds of community-based organisations around Scotland since being launched last year.

Other projects to receive cash from the TCCCF are the Elgin Youth Development Group which will receive £100,000 towards phase two of the Inkwell Community Hub project; Penicuik Community Development Trust which is set to receive £150,000 towards the Penicuik Storehouse project; Govan Workspace Ltd which will receive £63,000 towards the Govan Water Row Pathway project; Strathearn Artspace in Crieff which will receive £146,900; Maybole Community Council which will receive £71,062 towards the Maybole Civic Hub project; Lanark Community Development Trust which will receive £30,000 towards the Vibrant Lanark project; Ayrshire Community Trust which will receive £88,293 towards the Trinity Church Community Hub project in Irvine; Forward Coupar Angus which will receive £66,780 towards the Meg’s Café project; Alloa Town Centre Business Improvement which will receive £25,925 towards the Alloa Market Project.

Source: Sunday Herald

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