Community groups in East Lothian have received £1.5m to support local residents

Community groups have received over £1.5m in funding from East Lothian Council in recognition of the contribution they make to the county.

The local authority has published a list of successful funding applications as well as those that failed. Grants range from £208,000 given to the First Steps community project to £2,000 in payments to Lothian Disability Sports and a village playgroup.

The First Steps Community Project supports families with young children in the Musselburgh East housing estate by providing parenting support and winter clothing, food and other essentials. One Council partnership funding for community groups is just over £1,544,000 for the current financial year.

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East Lothian Advice Consortium, which provides financial and personal advice to local residents, has received £333,925.

Other big winners include the Musselburgh-based Bridges Project, which was awarded £88,000 and works with young people in East Lothian and Midlothian helping them develop job skills and support, and the Pennypit Community Development Trust, Prestonpans, which receives £99,000.

The Pennypit Trust offers support for young people as well as healthy eating classes and lunch clubs during school holidays as well as a range of community activities.

Community groups applied for more than £2.3million in funding from the local authority, with some refusing and others receiving less than they asked for.

Enjoyleisure, the council’s independent company which runs leisure centers across the county, has been denied a £20,000 grant. And The Ridge Project in Dunbar, which also works to provide people with skills and employability, was awarded £30,000 despite claiming £82,000.

Others rejected include North Berwick Harbor Trust who asked for £5,000 and the Fringe By The Sea Festival who asked for £10,000.

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In addition to community funding, a report on the communities budget revealed that a contribution of £130,599 was made to the county’s three community police officers.

A community fundraising report for this year recognized the impact of local groups on life in the county.

He said: “The range of activities supported by the Voluntary/3rd Sector and other community organizations across East Lothian make a significant contribution to the vibrancy, health and well-being of East Lothian communities. .

“The awards will allow organizations to maintain their commitment to working in partnership with the council to help communities build resilience and capacity, contributing to East Lothian’s COVID recovery and renewal in 2022/23.”

He said applications for funding were assessed on their alignment with the council’s policies on supporting local communities, adding that “the overarching intent of the partnership funding is to support the reduction of inequalities between communities. and the people of East Lothian”.