Young people in Kinlochbervie and the surrounding area will soon benefit from a new portacabin to house youth service activities.
The purchase of the portacabin – christened The Big Blue Box by young people in the area – by High Life Highland was made possible with the help of a donation from the Westminster Foundation and a grant from The Highland Council Place Based Investment Programme, adding to existing funding from High Life Highland.
With the support of these two organisations, High Life Highland was able to complete the purchase of a new portacabin for the use of young people in Kinlochbervie and the surrounding areas.
The Duke of Westminster, Chair of the Westminster Foundation, visited the Portacabin on Monday 3 October to see the facility and hear more about the services it will offer.
The Westminster Foundation provides long term sustainable help and direction to children and young people up to 25 years old.
It represents the charitable interests of the Duke of Westminster and Grosvenor businesses, working in places like Sutherland where the Grosvenor business operates and the family has long-held associations.
The Place-Based Investment Programme (PBIP) was established to ensure that all place-based investments are shaped by the needs and aspirations of local communities and accelerate ambitions for place, 20- minute neighbourhoods, town centre action, community led regeneration and community wealth building.
It would ensure that future local investment is relevant to local communities for the benefit of local people, bringing relevant services, enterprise, and communities together to make our towns, villages, and neighbourhoods more viable.
Speaking at the Youth Portacabin in Kinlochbervie, The Duke of Westminster said:
“This is a wonderful new facility.
“It is so important for young people to be able to meet in a safe place and access services that help with their educational, social and employment needs.
“The impact of this new hub on the wider community, particularly increasing service provision for young parents, is something everyone at the Westminster Foundation was keen to support.
“Congratulations to Highlife Highland for making it all possible.”
Cllr Richard Gale, Sutherland Area Chair, Highland Council, said:
“I am delighted to see this project coming to fruition and it is exactly the kind of project that the Highland Council Place Based Investment Fund is supposed to deliver.
“I am sure that the young people of Kinlochbervie will make good use of this facility and I hope that it meets all their expectations.”
Wilma Kelt, Area Youth Services Officer (North) with the Adult & Youth Services at High Life Highland, said:
“We are very appreciative of the funding support from the Westminster Foundation and the Place-Based Investment Programme and over the moon that we now have the new cabin in place.
“It has been a real team effort to make it happen and huge thanks are due to everyone involved.
“The young people who will use the cabin have already been planning what they would like to see happening and have created a display of their ideas and wishes that can be seen by visitors to the Big Blue Box.
“The portacabin was placed in its new site at the rear of Kinlochbervie High School recently and, as soon as the water, waste and electricity servcies are connected, young people will be able to begin to use it as a venue for their activities.
“This asset is a very valuable resource for our young people in the Kinlochbervie communities.”
All HLH services in North West Sutherland – including Adult & Youth, Countryside Rangers, Active Schools – will have access and use of the cabin for activities.
Partners will also be invited to use the new cabin for meetings and activities with young people.
The grant from the Westminster Foundation was £17,500.
The Highland Council Place Based Investment Programme funding was £2,982.