Fund first gives power to local people

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Arran is to get a small share on a new community investment fund which has been hailed as a first for Scotland by the leader of North Ayrshire Council.

The fund is a key component of the council’s Fair for All strategy which is looking to alleviate poverty across the region. At a meeting of cabinet last week, elected members agreed to introduce the approach which will devolve funds to Locality Planning Partnerships.

The fund – which will immediately have £2.6 million to be shared across the six localities  -has been created to help the Locality Partnership model flourish by providing localities an opportunity to identify and invest in specific local priorities to develop stronger communities. The funds are based on the population of each locality with Arran getting just 4 per cent or £104,000.

Council leader Joe Cullinane said: ‘The community investment fund is a radical step for the council. Devolving these funds to the Locality Partnerships, empowering them to invest money in their identified local priorities, is a first not only for us in North Ayrshire but for any local authority in Scotland.

‘This is community empowerment in action, not just words. It gives meaningful power and resources to the Locality Partnerships, which are made up of local ward councillors and community representatives, to make a difference to their communities.’