GROUPS in Alloa will bid for small grants for their community projects during a public event to be held at the weekend.

People in Clackmannanshire will have the opportunity to cast a vote during Alloa Matters, organised by Alloa Community Council, to help select the successful initiatives.

The project was set-up in order to help strengthen and foster links within the community, with applications for funding of up to £500 taken at the end of last year.

Jennie Syme, chair of the community council, said: "Alloa Community Council will be holding the Alloa Matters event at Alloa Town Hall on Saturday, January 20, at 12.30pm.

"This will give the nominated local groups who have applied the chance to explain how their project would benefit the Alloa community with monies from the Alloa Matters grant.

"It will also allow the general public to hear in more depth about the projects and organisations by talking to the people involved and then vote on their favourite projects.

"As a community council we want to develop our community and this is an opportunity for members of these organisations to network together and see if they can help each other.

"Please do come along to meet these local organisations and vote."

The community council has £4000 to allocate to groups and a number of applicants are set to showcase their plans in the town hall.

The Old People Welfare Hall is seeking funding for a loop system; Alloa Saints FC 2005 for extra training sessions; and Wee County Junior Harriers to train more coaches.

The Gate Community Cafe project would see improvements made via chairs, crockery and serving equipment, while Alloa Academy would purchase audio equipment for use in drama and music events.

Breathe Easy Clackmannanshire is looking to fund its Exercising Lung Health initiative which would allow for tai chi classes in Alloa, while the Wimpy Park Community Group is focusing is on improvements to the garden.

Meanwhile, Hawkhill Girls to Women Group would like to expand its reach of events and speakers, while the Alloa Academy Coffee Shop Project would like help to set-up its coffee shop.

Alloa Matters follows on from Community Matters, which ran at the end of 2016 into 2017,

One of the beneficiaries of this was Alloa Academy, after the parent council submitted an application.

The school had been without its own mini bus for more than a year which was leading to missed opportunities, or funds were needed to hire transport.

Thanks to a winning bid and support from the local community, the school received £5000 and now has its own vehicle.

Speaking to the Advertiser previously, Maureen McCaster, chair of Alloa Academy Parent Council, said the Alloa Matters funding is a great idea.

She added: "We used this money, along with fundraising from the parent council, to enter into a wheelchair accessible mini bus leasing agreement.

"This provides the best use of the award and the school are reaping the benefits.

"Six members of staff are now trained to drive the mini bus and it has been used for field trips, sport activities and theatre trips.

"This opens up opportunities many might otherwise not experience."