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October 27, 2010

Ideas worth investing in

One of the best and most creative decisions of the Big Lottery in Scotland has been to continue to offer relatively small amounts of funding to groups( up to £10,000) on the basis that they have a reasonably good idea and want to see if it has the potential to become a fully fundable project. The application for Investing in Ideas funding is not a tortuous one and the turnaround period is surprisingly quick.  A series of awards have just been announced

See a  full list of all the Investing in Ideas grants  made across Scotland today.

A breakfast club for primary school children in Aberdeen, a local project providing fresh, affordable food in Mull and an improved and a more joined up approach to welfare and support services for veterans and their families across the country are amongst a range of ideas to be explored and developed by 15 Scottish groups, thanks to latest grants announced today by the Big Lottery Fund.

Today BIG is awarding £141,931 through its Investing in Ideas scheme which provides grants of between £500 and £10,000 to test and develop ideas that could eventually become fully fledged projects. The scheme can pay for a wide variety of activities including market research, public consultations and feasibility studies.

Announcing the awards, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Alison Magee, said: “Through Investing in Ideas we are able to give local groups the time and resources to test their ideas. We believe this is important if they are to go on to develop successful and sustainable projects which meet the needs of local people in the long term. Whether it is consulting with the community on the potential for a children’s breakfast club or carrying out a review of existing support services for ex serviceman and their families, Investing in Ideas has the potential to help a range of ideas come to fruition. For each of today’s successful groups this journey has now begun and I wish them every success as they take forward their ventures with the support of their local communities.”

In Danestone near Aberdeen the focus is on encouraging a healthy lifestyle amongst local primary school children through walking to school and eating well. The Danestone Community Centre Association hope to achieve this by starting up a breakfast club in the area which would also meet the need for more childcare provision. Thanks to an Investing in Ideas grant of £8,000 the group will carry out a community consultation, create a business plan and pilot a small scale breakfast club activity.

Veterans Scotland is aiming to improve the lives of ex service personnel across the country thanks to a grant £10,000. The organistaion will use the grant to carry out a study of its existing service provision, as well as the wider welfare and support services available for veterans and their families in Scotland.  The study will help shape a more co-ordinated approach to services that fit with the changing demographics of the ex service community, particularly with the transition from service life into community and civilian life.

The Tobermory Endeavour in Mull, Argyll and Bute will use its grant of £9,534 to investigate the feasibility of establishing a community market garden or community allotments in Tobermory. It is hoped that this will help to address the shortage of local affordable fresh fruit and vegetables in the area. The grant will pay for land surveys, soil tests, community consultations and travel and accommodation costs to enable to group to visit and learn from other successful projects.

The idea to develop up to 12 new holiday lets in Comrie in Perthshire has moved a step forward thanks to a grant of £9,988 awarded to the The Comrie Development Trust. This would provide revenue for re-investing into the community of Comrie while also creating employment as a result of the construction, maintenance and management of the lets. The group will use the grant to commission market research to assess demand for the idea, to prepare a business plan and to undertake survey work.

The Creetown Initiative Ltd in Dumfries and Galloway will use its award of £9,500 to determine the potential to install a micro hydro turbine development on a local waterway called Balloch Burn. The community group are keen to take this idea to the next stage by commissioning a full feasibility study on the burn. This grant will fund a micro hydro consultant, flow monitoring costs and a topographical survey.

Other groups receiving funding today through Investing in Ideas include the Maxwelltown Information Centre in Dundee and the Portgordon Village Hall in Moray which receive grants of £9,576 and £10,000 respectively to commission feasibility studies to explore the possibility of extending and refurbishing their existing premises for the benefit of their wider communities.

A range of organisations can apply to Investing in Ideas, including voluntary and community sector groups, social enterprises, charities local authorities and health bodies.  For more information on the programme and how to apply visit