Funding boost for Arran community garden project

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People living on Scottish islands will benefit from community-led wellness initiatives designed to support them to live healthier lifestyles.

The Healthy Islands Fund will help to deliver these initiatives with just over £1.3 million of Scottish government funding from the wider £30 million Islands Programme.

On Arran funding worth £14,508 has been awarded to the Arran Pioneer Project CIC to help build the infrastructure for the community gardens being created around the island.

The goal of the project is to contribute to the self-sufficiency and sustainability of Arran, while providing publicly accessible green spaces that are beautiful and use nature-led design to grow a variety of different produce.

Since March 2020 it has worked with seven different communities around Arran and helped to create five new community gardens and farms while advancing the aims of established gardens. These are in Lochranza, Lamlash, Brodick, Kilpatrick and Corrie.

The fund is managed by Inspiring Scotland with 56 projects spanning across 35 islands.

Projects focus on building local capacity to increase well-being, foster connections and promote healthy and resilient islanders and communities – helping them to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Islands secretary Mairi Gougeon MSP said: ‘It’s important that local communities have initiatives that can promote participation and equality in physical activity, as we’ve outlined in our National Islands Plan.

‘We need to ensure that these are locally-led and community groups are often best placed to provide these services on our islands.

‘The projects that we are funding will help to encourage people to live healthier lifestyles and improve their resilience.

‘I’m so grateful to the groups for applying to help improve the lives of the people living across Scotland’s islands and I can’t wait to see them in action.”

Inspiring Scotland CEO Celia Tennant said: ‘Inspiring Scotland is delighted to be the delivery partner for the Scottish government’s Healthy Islands Fund which supports the aims and outcomes of the National Islands Plan and builds on the work of the Scottish Government’s Island Communities Fund.

‘The 56 successful Healthy Island Fund Projects delivered on 35 islands will support our island communities to engage in healthy lifestyle choices and in turn support their physical and mental wellbeing.’