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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Partnership Between Council and Community Company Honoured at Highland Council Staff Recognition Awards 

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A partnership initiative involving the local authority’s Amenities Team and a dedicated community company was formally honoured at the recent Highland Council Staff Recognition Awards Ceremony. 

The ‘Achieving Better Outcomes in Partnership Award’ recognised the work being done to enhance the area, through the efforts of an innovative partnership between the Communities and Place Amenities Team and Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company. 

The Community Caretakers identify works to enhance areas the Council does not have resources to complete. 

The Amenities Team then provides the materials, and the local community provide skilled labour to complete the works. 

The works include: footbridge repairs, fencing, dry stone walling, cemetery path repairs, raised beds and general enhancement of floral areas. 

The ongoing partnership is essential to ensure the busy tourist areas are well maintained and the Community Company has seen over £2.3m investment via match funding. 

A spokesperson for Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company (FAGCC) said:

“This partnership allows us to make a difference and present our surroundings in the best possible light for tourists and locals alike. 

“It has been great to be able to make things happen in Fort Augustus, with the support of the Highland Council.

“If something needs fixed, we don’t have to wait for someone to come from Inverness to do it.

“Our very own Community Caretakers can sort it.

“Working in partnership with the Highland Council has enabled us to make a difference for the local community.” 

Caroline Campbell, Head of Community Operations & Logistics at Highland Council, said:

“Highland Council has been working in partnership with Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company (FAGCC) since 2014. 

“These works would not have been possible without partnership working. 

“The Council would not have budget or operatives to carry out this work, having the Caretakers willing and able to do this added value work means it’s a win, win for all.”  

She added:

“The ongoing partnership is essential to ensure the busy tourist areas are well maintained.

“This is a model that we promote when talking to communities elsewhere.” 

 FAGCC are a community led organisation established by the Community Council in 2007 as the approved body to receive and distribute community benefit to the Area. 

They receive an annual payment from Highland Council to operate and supplement this funding with their own funds to employ Community Caretakers. 

Most recent projects are: 

  • Repairs to footbridge at Bunoich Brae car park. 
  • During Covid, installation of wall and ground mounted hand sanitisers. 
  • Erection of new pedestrian friendly fencing in public areas at Invermoriston playpark and Community Village Hall and around the playing field at Riverside Park. 
  • Construction and installation of a new pedestrian bridge and walkway at Jenkins Park. 
  • Fencing round toilets in Fort Augustus. 
  • Cemetery pedestrian path construction and installation at Auchterawe. 
  • Replacement of mesh fencing with post and rail fence at entrance to The Riggs. 
  • Strathoich cemetery bank improvements and path repairs. 
  • Construction of raised beds and enhancement of floral areas, planting over 3,000 mixed bulbs, introducing annual and perennial bedding, and planting of herbs in housing areas. 
  • Identification, establishment, and management of community composting area. 
  • Dry stone wall repairs at cemeteries, picnic areas, and carpark boundaries. 
  • Construction of secure compound in Fort Augustus carpark to store public use wheelie bins.  

The benefits to FAGCC include seeking advice, funding opportunities, experienced contacts, and larger project input.

Equally Highland Council benefit from FAGCC investing in local employment, community involvement, identifying works and getting jobs done above and beyond the Agreement.

The Council would like to encourage communities interested in learning more about how they can implement a similar scheme to email: Amenity.Services@highland.gov.uk

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