Nithsdale Area Committee Approves Discretionary Grants

At the meeting of Nithsdale Area Committee (11th May), Members approved funding to the sum of £186,684 from the 2016/17 Discretionary Grants Budget. This is out of the total available of £188,568 which is the remainder of the initial allocation of £360,134 following the distribution of £171,566 to Nithsdale Local Priorities.

This year the number of applications rose from 58, in 2015/16, to 65, with the total amount requested by applicants being £436,912, compared to £400,462 in 2015/16.

All applicants must meet the funding priorities and eligibility criteria, demonstrate proof of match funding of at least 50% and show that significant effort has been made to identify alternative sources of funding. Requests for funding ranged from £39,000 to £200. Some of the successful applicants included:


The First Base Agency, which was awarded £4,275 towards part of the salary of an emergency Food coordinator to manage a team of 50 volunteers. The First Base Emergency Food Project will distribute 6,000 food parcels during the 2016/17 year; 5,000 of which will be in Nithsdale.  The project prides itself in its record that: ‘in 12 years of issuing emergency food we have never once turned a client away due to lack of food’. The project now hopes to expand the number of organisations who donate food to them which is close to its ‘use by date’.


The Hub Community Action Centre was awarded £25,189 which will contribute towards the core costs of operating the hub, which is fit for purpose accommodation for various voluntary organisations and their service users around Nithsdale. The funding will also contribute to the hub’s own social inclusion projects such as their Winter Warmth for Older People Project and Welfare Reform Project, as well as helping to develop new initiatives.


£8,051 was awarded to John Paul Jones Birthplace Museum Trust which is currently going through a transition to become self-sustaining. Long term plans are in place to attract more visitors, revise admission charges and an increase shop stock and sales prices, but for the moment the museum is reliant on Council support to achieve its goals in the short term.  It is hoped that this investment will support local suppliers, provide longer term seasonal employment for 12 staff, and promote additional tourism, contributing in excess of £80,000 to the local economy.


Sandside Community Action Group was awarded £1,447. The group, formed from tenants and residents from the area, with assistance from the Council, have taken on approximately 2 acres of derelict ground situated to the south west of their community. The group plan to transform this area into a community garden for the benefit of tenants, residents and children of Stakeford.


‘Lets Get Sporty’ was awarded £1,500 towards a family fun day which will take place at the Crichton Campus in the early summer this year. Families of all ages and abilities will be able to enjoy a range of fun and sporting activities including basketball, tennis, hockey and ‘Football Golf’.


Councillor Ted Thompson, Chair of Nithsdale Area Committee said: “Although we have significantly fewer funds to distribute I am pleased with the range of projects we have been able to support. The variety of projects shows not only the good work being carried out by voluntary groups, but also the range of festivals, galas and arts schemes which are open to the public, bringing our communities together.”

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