A FUNDING pot of £213,000 is available to support rural Clacks projects that benefit communities in the Forth Valley and Loch Lomond area.

The Community Led Local Development Fund is open to applications for up to £10,000 per project with funding provided by the Scottish Government’s Rural Communities Team and delivery supported by Forth Valley and Lomond Local Action Group.

The scheme will finance community-led projects in rural areas across the Wee County and in the Forth Valley to support small-scale initiatives or to enable a larger project to go ahead in a way which meets local sustainable development goals.

Previous projects benefiting included the Japanese Garden at Cowden which was able to erect a gate at the entrance, created paths and the Tea House along with some environmental works.

Grants also went out to Clackmannanshire-based food and drink businesses to adapt post-Covid restrictions.

Council leader Ellen Forson said: “The community-led approach to this funding aims to empower local groups to address local needs, based on the knowledge and lived experience they have of their own communities.”

Groups and organisations have until Friday, September 30, to apply, but further rounds of funding may be announced depending on initial uptake.

Douglas Johnston, chair of the Forth Valley and Lomond Local Action Group, said: “The local action group has evolved from the previous LEADER Group and is a partnership made up of volunteers and organisations with an interest in seeing projects happen the rural area.

“These new funds allow us to build on the legacy of projects previously supported with a focus now on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the five themes which were identified through our consultation workshops.

“We have been blown away by the interest and types of projects now being developed in the rural area and hope that our funding can help take some of them closer to completion.”

Eligible projects must take place by the end of January 2023 and full guidance is available via the fvl.org.uk website.

All applications and queries should be made to Carolyn McGill by emailing info@fvl.org.uk or by calling 01786 233159.