The SNP Government has allocated over £1 million from its Islands Programme to two community projects on Cumbrae and Arran for this financial year.
The projects in question are:
Island Pit Stops, Arran and Cumbrae: £540,000
This project seeks to manage the challenges of increased visitor numbers by re-purposing and improving existing infrastructure to encourage visitor dispersal and cope with over-visitation at key sites.
It aims to increase the quality of the visitors’ experience by providing better facilities, thereby supporting increased dwell time and spend on the islands. Island toilet buildings will be redeveloped into accessible and eco designed Island Pit Stops across nine locations. This project provides a replicable example of sustainable tourism.
Regeneration of Millport Town Hall (phase 2) - Cumbrae: £509,450
Phase 2 of a multi-funded development to use the building’s basement to provide a central community space, delivering a package of activities and attractions within a heritage building. The renovated space will provide additional operational income to sustain the project and extend options for use.
The project has high levels of community involvement, partnership working and builds on previous investment. Natural light, solar panels and air source heat pumps will provide a significant amount of the building’s energy and LED lighting. New conservation standard double-glazed windows and insulation will be installed.
Kenneth Gibson MSP welcomed the funding, saying:
“Congratulations to everyone involved with Millport Town Hall and Island Pit Stops, on submitting such hugely successful funding applications.
“This is a particularly important investment in our communities on Arran and Cumbrae, in light of the ongoing cost of living crisis, and climate change which are of particular concern for our islands.
“In addition, both islands have felt the impact of COVID over the past few years and this investment will go a long way in helping to attract returning visitors, both from North Ayrshire and further afield. In addition, the entire community of Millport will benefit from the transformed Town Hall.”
The 2022/23 Islands Programme (IP) was launched on 21 March 2022, with an application deadline of 10 June 2022. It is being delivered in partnership with local government via a competitive bid process with the six island Local Authorities as lead applicants.
Applications to the IP have been subject to scrutiny and assessment by the Islands Programme Investment Panel which has made recommendations on projects to be funded. The panel is selected from Scottish Government and a range of partner organisations who have experience of panel assessments and infrastructure spending.