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The Highland Times

News From and Around The Highlands of Scotland

Place Based Investment Funding Approved for Sutherland Projects

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Sutherland Members have agreed to primarily invest in local playparks for improvement from the Scottish Government’s Place Based Investment Programme.

The fund was set up to enable a flexible local response to address the four harms of COVID-19, which were identified as direct health harms; health impacts not directly related to COVID; societal impacts and economic impacts.

£50,000 from the £100,000 total allocation to Ward 1 North, West and Central Sutherland will be used to fund playpark improvements in the area.

Two other key priority areas were also identified for spend in Ward 1.

These priority areas include: £40,000 to support mental wellbeing initiatives, and the remaining £10,000 has been allocated to support provision of defibrillators.

In August 2021, Sutherland Members agreed £80,000 was to be spent on playparks and £20,000 towards mental wellbeing projects in Ward 4 East Sutherland and Edderton.

Additionally, Sutherland Members agreed to allocate up to £10,000 from each of Ward 1 and Ward 4’s Covid-19 Discretionary Fund to address fuel poverty in the area.

At Full Council in January 2021, it was agreed that if Members wish to set aside a portion of their remaining COVID-19 Discretionary Fund for other purposes than originally intended, this should be agreed at Area Committee.

Chair of Sutherland Area Committee, Cllr Richard Gale said:

“I am delighted that we are investing in our local playparks and are able to support further initiatives in improving mental wellbeing.

“By improving our playparks, we will have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of children and young people, but there is also the potential for wider benefits to the whole community.

“I am also glad that we were able to agree today to re-allocate funds to create a fuel poverty support fund as a one-off measure to assist families facing the impact of Covid-19 and high fuel prices this winter.

“Fuel poverty is a growing concern and any assistance we can offer to families this year will help to relieve some of the pressure on households.”

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