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December 5, 2012

Cold spots starting to warm

Big Lottery has dished out nearly £6bn in grants since it started in 2004. Despite the fact that thousands of groups of all shapes and sizes have benefited, a picture was slowly emerging that showed some parts of the country had been missing out.  For whatever reason, cold spots were beginning to appear on the funding map.  Some enlightened thinking on the part of BIG has seen a concerted effort over the past couple of years to redress that imbalance.  It’s starting to pay dividends.


A project in Royston, one of five areas targeted for additional Lottery investment, is celebrating an award from the Big Lottery Fund’s (BIG) Our Place programme.
Rosemount Lifelong Learning will be able to create a multi-purpose community centre thanks to today’s grant of £1,173,718. It will be built as a two storey extension to their current premises on Royston Road.
The project is one of six to receive the latest awards from the Our Place programme which aims to make increased investment in five areas of Scotland, including Royston, which have not seen the expected level of Lottery funding over the last three years. 
Announcing the awards Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen, said: “I am very pleased that this project has received Our Place funding. The new community centre will provide a central location for people to come together in a friendly environment. And it is a critical link in building the confidence of people in the community that their efforts can improve their local services and environment.”
The hub will be an inspirational venue for a range of community groups and residents who need a modern, flexible building which can hold meetings, workshops, recreational and cultural classes, community events and private functions. Neighbourhood issues will be promoted through the revived Royston Rag newsletter which will also be available online and be used as an area to attract volunteers who can gain specific skills to increase their employability.
Alex Meikle, Chief Executive of Rosemount Lifelong Learning, said: “Rosemount Lifelong Learning is delighted to accept this award. It will create a multipurpose community hub that will be built as an extension on the existing community learning facility known as the Flexi centre at the heart of the Royston community.”
“Once constructed the hub will act as a venue for a range of community groups to participate in as well as deliver a diverse range of activities such as public meetings, workshops, recreational classes, cultural classes and community events in a modern, informal and easily accessible venue. The project will also revive the `Royston Rag’ a previously successful local newsletter.”
“The new centre will be close to local schools, shops and library and we hope will become a real focal point of activity and a contribution to the regeneration of the local community as well as a vital resource for the people of Royston.”
The five areas targeted by the Our Place programme are: Greenock Central and East in Inverclyde, Bellsmyre area of Dumbarton in West Dunbartonshire; Renfrew West; Newmains near Wishaw in North Lanarkshire and Royston in North Glasgow. BIG has previously funded development work in each of the selected communities giving them a dedicated team to help them identify their local priorities.