COMMUNITY groups across Tweeddale are encouraged to apply for a slice of a £91,000 funding pot.

At a meeting of the council at Newton St Boswells yesterday (Thursday, September 28), plans were approved to create the Localities Bid Fund, which will see five areas partnerships across the region; Berwickshire, Cheviot, Eildon, Teviot & Liddesdale and Tweeddale each receive a share of £500,000, with the cost allocated based on per head of the population in that area.

The windfall means the newly established Tweeddale Area Partnership, will receive a total of £91,416.20.

Replacing the Area Forums, the Area Partnerships will have their own budgets to spend on local projects. It was one of several plans unveiled by SBC in their 14-page five year vision last week, which aims to have a greater focus on benefitting communities across the region.

In the plans, the council also announced social measures to include a "whole community" approach to eduction, and extensive plans to reduce substance abuse.

The Localities Bid Fund has been created to support community projects and initiatives across the Borders.

Reacting to the news, Tweeddale East Councillor Robin Tatler (Ind) said: “I'm delighted to hear these plans have been approved. I’d encourage as many groups across the area to get involved and pitch their ideas to the council as to why they should get a share of the money.

"More details on how to apply will be announced in due course."

Anyone from the age of 16 and older and lives, works, volunteers or studies in the Borders, plus community groups are eligible to apply.

To apply for the money, they will be asked to submit their ideas and projects, which will then be assessed by local elected members and officers from Scottish Borders Council.

Projects that meet the assessment criteria will then be put forward to a community vote to decide on which should receive funding. It is expected that the public vote could be made online, via the post, or at a local event.

The minimum or maximum award is determined by the size of the funding pot allocation, with a cap of £5,000 being applied to non-constituted groups.

If successful, the winning projects will report back to Area Partnerships or through a community event.