An organisation which supports former mining towns and villages has been awarded £800,000.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) has been awarded the money by the Scottish Government to allow it to ensure that residents of mining areas can enjoy a brighter future.
The year-long settlement for the CRT includes £50,000 to help fund the charity’s work in Kincardine to offset the loss of Longannet Power Station.
The CRT has bought and renovated the former Clydesdale Bank building in the centre of Kincardine to convert into an enterprise and training hub, The hub, which will also serve as the CRT’s Scottish headquarters, will enable the charity to expand its range of activities and become a registered training provider, using the building to run skills and employment programmes.
The top priority will be to deliver job opportunities and training programmes, and launch new social enterprises and other businesses to cushion the blow of Longannet’s closure.
Kevin Stewart, Scottish Government Minister for Local Government and Housing said: “We recognise the challenges faced by Scotland’s former mining communities and I’m delighted to confirm funding for CRT’s 2017/2018 programme, which will continue to develop new initiatives and support communities in coalfield areas.
“Investing in community-led regeneration is at the heart of our approach and CRT’s work is a fine example of how to support and enable communities to initiate and lead change in their local areas.
“I’m also happy to announce additional funding for the Trust’s plans to develop an enterprise and training hub in Kincardine to run skills and employment programmes, supporting people into work which will have a positive and lasting impact on their lives.”
Nicky Wilson, Scottish trustee of the CRT said: “Over the last few years we have changed from a grant-making organisation to one which launches positive initiatives to support the communities we serve.
“At the heart of our operations is a commitment to involve local people, and give them the help and support they need to make positive improvements to their own areas.”