Luing wins the Lottery: big BIG Lottery funding for Atlantic Islands Centre

There’s good news and there’s stupendous news. The Isle of Luing is reeling from the stupendous variety, having heard that Big Lottery Fund has granted £754,910 funding for the Isle of Luing Community Trust’s Atlantic Islands Centre project?

This includes revenue funding for a Project Manager and Centre Development Manager as well as part of the build costs. It represents 60% of the total project cost.

Alastair Fleming from the Luing Community Trust says: ‘The Centre will provide much needed facilities for residents and visitors, including a café restaurant, a heritage gallery, an arts and crafts shop and exhibition space, work spaces, and a community hub with modern ICT facilities for learning and leisure.

It will also provide jobs and volunteering opportunities which will help the Luing community to welcome the many visitors to this beautiful and historic island.’

Further details are available here at the BIG Lottery Scotland website.

The Community Trust has still to raise the remainder of the funding and is awaiting the outcome of its other applications.

However, in the funding world, a major vote of confidence like this from a major and experienced funding body, carries significant weight with other funding bodies – so the BIG Lottery award blows additional wind in the sails of the initiative.

As Norman Bissell, a signal energy in the proposal, says: ‘This is a huge step forward for the project and for the whole Luing community.

‘We are delighted that all the hard work on this project over so many years has paid off and would like to thank everyone who has supported our efforts and helped us to achieve this tremendous result for the people of Luing.

‘We recently established a Centre Planning Group to plan a wide range of activities in the Centre and are looking for others to join it to help us plan for the future.

‘We are holding a Special General Meeting in Cullipool Hall on Wednesday 13th June 2012 at 7.45 pm (Ed: TONIGHT) to discuss the proposed rule changes which have been circulated and are on our website.

Further information about the range of activities proposed for the Centre will be available at the meeting and we intend to launch a financial appeal for donations to help us complete the funding.’

As with any radical change, there has been divided local opinion about this project and we admit to having had our own doubts at one stage.

The core point, though, is that standing still, even if the ebb tide can be stemmed while doing so, leads to relative decline as others progress. It would be inspiring to see the entire island now get behind this and be part of the achievement now in train but with room for comprehensive ownership.

The vision for Lung behind this initiative is to see it support the creation of an alliance of the Atlantic Islands and, as the accessible inshore member, become the junction, the stepping stone perhaps, the springboard certainly, for the rest.

It is an original and exciting concept that has the capacity not only to contribute to the sustainability of this lovely timeless island but to galvanise visitors to skim on further out  west into the Atlantic.

This news is not only a boost for Luing but for Argyll. Every single success pulls the whole place with it. Now that this project is set to send visitors to Luing skimming from the Slate Isles on out and around the Atlantic Isles, it is in everyone’s interests to add to its potency in every way they can.

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