A WEE COUNTY community group has received an early Christmas present after sealing a welcome funding boost through the Alloa Advertiser.

The Tullibody Community Development Trust (TCDT) are to receive £5,000 from the Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of the Advertiser's parent company.

Delighted volunteers were told the good news this week and say they will use the money to create a new social space for residents, complete with a kitchen and café at the Tullibody Civic Centre.

The group is hoping to be able to open the facility up to parents before and after dropping their kids off for school or nursery.

Janette McGowan, chairperson of the TCDT, told the Advertiser: "It will be somewhere our young people, in particular, can come and spend time with their friends after school or early evening.

"We also hope to open up the café in the mornings for a few hours for parents to meet after they drop off their kids to school and nursery.

"The grant means we can purchase bistro tables and chairs, an espresso/cappuccino coffee maker, fridge, freezer and spruce the kitchen up to make it attractive and inviting. We are so looking forward to getting this project off the ground."

The Gannett Foundation – which has given out more than £3million to good causes – sent out a plea earlier this year asking local groups to get in touch about funding.

Awards were decided by a panel of trustees, with a total of 50 local groups benefitting from a total pot of £300,000.

Janette continued: "We'd like to thank The Gannett Foundation, the Alloa Advertiser and our local community for their support."

However, it was not the only good news for the TCDT this week as they also announced that they had been successful in receiving further funding from a separate grant bid.

In an unexpected surprise, the Tabhair Charitable Trust awarded the Tullibody group a cash injection to the sum of £2,000.

Janette said: "Tabhair's core funding grant of £2,000 will cover the cost of installing and running our broadband and Wi-Fi for one year, and our card payment and security systems and well as buy our cleaning supplies.

"We have been overwhelmed with the news of receiving these grants in the run up to Christmas. The Trust has only been running the Civic Centre under our occupancy licence for just over one month.

"These funds will ensure our community is able to enjoy a really nice café and social space with public Wi-Fi, something that Tullibody has been sadly lacking in recent years."