New Trust aims to lift the profile of the Jewel

Polishing the Jewel – new Community Trust for Lossiemouth

Community groups, clubs and organisations in Lossiemouth have formed a Community Development Trust that they expect will help raise the profile of the town while making it more attractive for residents and visitors alike.

The Trust is the result of extensive discussions over the last year sparked by the Lossiemouth Community Council with support from staff in the community support unit at Moray Council.

Several public meetings where held at which over 50 local groups were engaged in discussing how they might work together in creating a joint approach to improving facilities and supporting each other in the Moray town.

From that a draft development plan was drawn up that outlined key developments that the local community could take the lead through identifying funding sources and jointly manage resources.

“Following a final public meeting earlier this month it was agreed that a steering group would be formed to formalise the creation of a Community Trust in Lossiemouth,” Donna Milne, the chair of the new Trust said.

She added: “As a result the steering group met and formally agreed the creation of the Trust, forming a management board and the first six sub-groups that would study key areas identified in our draft development plan.

“These include a group chaired by Councillor John Cowe that will look at environmental issues around the town, including the creation and management of flower beds and provision of facilities that would provide our community and visitors with a brighter, cleaner town.

“Another group will look into the ownership of the Seatown Bridge and the long-term possibility of the Trust taking over the development of what is an important landmark in the town.”

The improvement of Sport and Leisure facilities is another area being studied by a sub-group of the Trust, with the creation of a ‘Lossiemouth Sports Hub’ high on their agenda, while another group has been formed that seeks to develop a new Cycle Track along the coastline through Lossiemouth and beyond.

Consisting of representatives from a number of the groups involved in the creation of the Trust, the management board has already begun steps towards formalising the Trust’s status and its ability to raise and manage funding on behalf of the local community.

Donna Milne said: “Eventually that would include the ability of the Trust to own and manage property on behalf of the Lossiemouth community.

“Part of our preparations for the creation of the Trust was to study carefully similar organisations elsewhere in Scotland.

“In doing that we have noted that communities much smaller than Lossiemouth have successfully created thriving community-led businesses and as a result greatly enhanced their towns and villages. Our aim is to do exactly that in Lossiemouth.”

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