Community groups net a Co-operative £10k funding boost

Elizabeth Wood, Kelly Main and Co-op Lossiemouth staff

THREE LOCAL PROJECTS based in Lossiemouth were today boosted by cheques of over £3400 each courtesy of big-hearted supporters shopping at the local Co-op store.

Outfit Moray, Marine Park and Covesea Lighthouse were presented with their cheques at the local store today, each having been named as the preferred charity of Co-op members.

Under the Community Funds share system, the Co-op allocate 1% of sales to local groups nominated by their customers, with the Co-op community pioneer, Kelly Main, explaining: “This funding has been raised by our customers using their membership cards.

“They earn 5% for themselves and an additional 1% goes to charities – in Lossiemouth that means each receiving around £3400.”

Accepting the cheque for Outfit Moray today was Tony Brown, who said: “This money in particular will be used to put on out of school activities for young people in the local area, allowing them to try climbing, canoeing and other outdoor activities.

“It is extremely important to us that the local community gets behind us in this way, the work we do with young people in Moray is impossible without the community being behind us and providing funding from projects such as this. We can get the kids out and enjoying as well as reaping the benefits such activities bring.”

Elizabeth Wood from the Marine Park Project agreed that the funding was vital – and important to the project that it came as a direct result of support from the local community: “Funding like this is extremely important because not only does it help in our sense of belonging to the community which is important in Lossiemouth.

“It also helps us raise our profile and how important it is for us to have people on board with the project. It is not all about money – although obviously that is important.

“Currently we are working through a Community Asset Transfer application and we are now very close to completing that, the next big project when we achieve that is create an all-inclusive children’s play area at Marine Park.”

The Covesea Lighthouse project, meanwhile, is now at a crucial stage as they are in the final stages of developing a new heritage centre alongside the iconic light itself.

After accepting the cheque for the project Bernard Annikin said: “The project is going well since we purchased the Lighthouse itself with the self-catering cottages which are currently being let with assistance from the National Trust.

“We also have a new Education and Heritage Centre with the RAF – we needed to complete the inside of that and we successfully achieved funding for that. We expect that the new heritage centre will be finished possibly by late July or early August this year.”