COMMUNITY groups across the Scottish Borders are being encouraged to apply to a multi-million pound fund to buy, manage or develop buildings or land.

Between now and 2020 up to £45 million will be made available through the Big Lottery Fund, to help community-led projects in Scotland.

It comes after Burnfoot Community Futures in Hawick scooped £1,180,814 of funding to build the Community Hub, which comprises a cafe, function room, childcare facility, garden and softplay, as well as office space for groups to rent. 

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “This is new funding will allow even more communities like Burnfoot Community Futures to take greater control of their futures.

"The Big Lottery Fund has 15 years of experience in supporting local communities to take greater control of their futures through the acquisition, management and development of local assets. And we know the positive difference this can make," she added.

“Community Assets is part of a wider funding offering here in Scotland aimed at supporting activity which is people centred, strengths based and has good local connections. It recognises that there is strong appetite in communities across Scotland to purchase and develop local assets which can bring huge, lasting benefits such as sustaining jobs and helping connect people to activities and services.”

Groups can apply for grants from £10,000 to £1 million and, where needed, will receive professional technical support and advice to help turn their project ideas into reality.

Zoe Hall, Chairperson of Burnfoot Community Futures, said: “We were delighted to have Big Lottery Fund staff visit us this week to see and hear about the difference our community owned building makes to the lives of local people. 

"Now, thanks to this new Community Assets funding, local groups like ours will be able to follow in our footsteps by applying for funding to buy, manage or develop buildings or land.”