East Lothian community groups given more than £1.5 million

Monday April 18th 2022


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Community groups have been given more than £1.5 million in funding from East Lothian Council in recognition of the contribution they make to the county.

The local authority has released a list of successful applications for funding along with the unsuccessful ones.

Grants range from £208,000 given to First Steps Community Project to £2,000 payments to Lothian Disability Sports and a village playgroup.

First Steps Community Project supports families with young children in the Musselburgh East housing estate by offering parental support and winter clothing, food and other essentials.

The One Council Partnership Funding for community groups come to just over £1, 544,000 for the current financial year.

East Lothian Advice Consortium, which provides financial and personal advice to local residents, received £333, 925.

Other big winners include the Musselburgh-based Bridges Project which has been given £88,000 and works with young people in East Lothian and Midlothian helping them with employment skills and support, and Pennypit Community Development Trust, Prestonpans, which receives £99,000.

The Pennypit Trust provides youth support as well as healthy eating classes and lunch clubs during school holidays along with a range of community activities.

Community groups applied for more than £2.3 million in funding from the local authority, with some declined and others receiving less than they asked for.

Enjoyleisure, the council’s arms length company which runs leisure centres across the county, was refused a £20,000 grant.

And The Ridge Project in Dunbar, which also works to provide people with skills and employability received £30,000 despite applying for £82,000.

Others rejected include North Berwick Harbour Trust who asked for £5000 and the Fringe By The Sea Festival which applied for £10,000.

In addition to the community funding a report on the communities budget revealed a contribution of £130, 599 was paid towards the county’s three community police officers.

A report into the community funding for this year acknowledged the impact of local groups on life in the county.

It said: “The range of activities supported by the voluntary/3rd sector and other community organisations throughout East Lothian make a significant contribution to the vibrancy, health and well-being of East Lothian communities.

“The awards will enable organisations to maintain their commitment to partnership working with the council to support communities to build resilience and capacity, contributing to East Lothian’s COVID recovery and renewal during 2022/23.”

It said applications for the funding were evaluated on how well they fit in with the council’s policies for supporting local communities, adding “the overarching intention of partnership funding is to support reducing inequalities across East Lothian’s communities and population”.

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