January 2009 Newsletter

In this issue…
Communities on the Edge Conference
Making more of Walking Festivals
Nature based tourism in Dumfries & Galloway
Eco Office – good news!
Gregor Stewart, arrives at Lindean
Seeking Master Composters
Red Squirrel website relaunched
Challenge the CCF to fund your project!
The Future Farmer Award 2009 opens for entries
Development Opportunities in the Galloway Forest Park
Rural Enterprise in a Recession – Call for Papers
Borders Events to promote?
Edinburgh Office Space?
Interesting Reading – Plunkett Franchise Models
Climate Change Bill and Forestry lease proposal
Destination Management Organisation for D&G?

Communities on the Edge TeamCommunities on the Edge Conference
The new year seems well underway, and with it we have said goodbye to the excellent team of animators who delivered the Communities on the Edge (COTE) projects in Langholm, Douglas and Yetholm. COTE worked with Douglas & Angus, Roxburgh and Buccleuch estate managers and people from the communities nearby to audit local resources and to facilitate the development of new ideas, activities and enterprises. This has been one of the Partnerships longest running and most acclaimed projects, having gained recognition for best practice from Leader, the Carnegie UK Trust and The Royal Society of Edinburgh. As well as delivering results in the communities where animators were based the project delivered a very successful conference for land owners at Floors Castle in November 2008 and an Animators handbook which draws together the teams experience in a readable format so that others can gain from lessons learnt.

Both the conference report and the handbook will be added to the publications section of the website by the end of February.

While we are sorry to loose John, Roger, Sarah, Ian and Annette from COTE we will be adding to our ranks in the near future as new projects come on stream. In spite of the difficult financial times having a knock on effect on funding we have several exciting projects in development and funding applications pending.

Making more of Walking Festivals
The SUP is leading a 2 year project that will develop the well established annual Borders Festival of Walking into a larger and more self-sustaining event. Using the National Homecoming celebrations as a spring-board, the Walking Festival in 2009 will be more widely marketed using the theme “in the Footsteps of the Reivers”. The Festival will run from Sept 5th to the 13th and will offer both walks and evening events in and around Hawick and Jedburgh. The aim is to actively involve local businesses (accommodation providers, restaurants, pubs, galleries, shops etc) in the festival and to attract significantly higher numbers of participants. In 2010, the festival will focus on a different part of the Borders and on a different theme and links will be made to other walking festivals across the Southern Uplands such as the Langholm and Newton Stewart events. Funding has been secured from the Scottish Borders Leader programme, the Council, SNH, the national Homecoming project and Awards for All. Vantage Events have been contracted to deliver the project and a dedicated website is being developed. More news soon.

Vyv Wood GeeNature Based tourism in Dumfries & Galloway
With funding from SNH SUP has recently commissioned rural consultant Vyv Wood Gee (pictured right) to undertake a study of successful nature based tourism clusters in the UK and Europe. The aim of the study is to identify the criteria for a successful cluster, devise a scoring scheme and to develop a development plan that can be picked up and used by groups of businesses and communities. The aim – subject to funding – is to pilot the development plan in the region in 2009-2011. The clustering study will run through until April of this year, so a report will be included in the next issue of the newsletter.

Eco Office – good news!
Our application to the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) for feasibility funding for the proposed Canonbie Eco Office has been approved! In spite of great (and necessary) support from our SNH case officer, the SRDP helpline staff in Dumfries and Ian Mathieson at SCVO the application process was challenging to say the least. It is a great relief that the time was well spent! We have been awarded 50% of the cost of community consultation, a business feasibility study and outline design work. We now need to get the remaining funding in place before work can start.

On this point we would like to deliver other groups a warning note: if you are looking at the SRDP site and see that up to 100% funding is available for feasibility work please consult an SRDP case officer before you start working up an application. (The text on the site is shown below). At present the maximum funding that will be available to you is in fact up to 50%. This can be a nasty surprise, especially if you have chosen to apply to SRDP to avoid the problems of finding match funding. With this news you might want to reconsider applying to this fund. We will continue to lobby for the SRDP to make funding of up to 100% available, or to change the information on the website.

Community Services and Facilities

What costs could be supported
Examples include:

  • Capital costs – Building renovation/new build, Internet café facilities, Sports equipment/facilities, Catering accommodation/upgrade.
  • Non capital costs – Feasibility studies, Project management.

To ensure value for money we require you to provide 2 competitive quotes for any capital items applied for which are based on actual cost. If, however, you are seeking grant support towards something so specialised it is only available through 1 source then we would accept 1 quote. Please see the guidance on quotes and estimates for more information.

Rate of support

Up to 100% of approved project costs. Payment may be one-off or spread over time dependent on delivery of results and nature of project.

Gregor Stewart arrives at Lindean
We are pleased to welcome Gregor Stewart to the Lindean Mill office. Gregor is spending a few weeks with us as a work placement student. While we have lots of nice admin jobs lined up, Gregor will also be spending time outdoors with Richard Wales learning about Red Squirrel conservation.

Seeking Master CompostersSeeking Master Composters
Local volunteers for the Scottish Borders Master Composter Programme aim to give home composting a boost by encouraging people in their local communities to compost at home. Volunteers are being recruited to join the programme aimed at encouraging people to take responsibility for the waste they produce, and to give them the support that they need in order to compost their food and garden waste at home. Click here for more …


Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland web siteRed Squirrel website relaunched
The Red Squirrels in South Scotland has been upgraded and is now live. As well as all the latest news on the battle to conserve the red squirrel there is the facility to add your squirrel sightings to the records electronically. These records are a huge help when it comes to collecting information on the distribution of red and grey squirrels in south Scotland, allowing the conservation officers to identify areas of importance where habitat management or grey squirrel control will benefit red squirrel populations. www.redsquirrels.org.uk

Challenge the CCF to fund your challengeChallenge the CCF to fund your project!
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Richard Lochhead announced on January 15, 2009 the award of a total of £4,376,541 to 24 projects in the third round of grants from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund, to help Scotland play a leading role in the international fight against climate change. Many really exciting projects are being funded – but only a small percentage of the funds seem to be finding their way into the south of Scotland! The Climate Challenge Fund was set up to help communities with projects that can significantly reduce carbon emissions, the have a large fund to distribute but projects need to be delivered before the end of 2011. There is no set grant and no minimum level of award but a £1,000,000 maximum has been set. If you would like to find out more contact Keep Scotland Beautiful on 01786 471333. Alternatively visit www.infoscotland.com/climatechallengefund for an application form and guidance on the types of project eligible to apply.

For information on successful projects click here.

The Future Farmer Award 2009 opens for entries
Are you a farmer trying to manage your land in ways which promote environmental sustainability? Would you like to share your ideas with others? If so, the Future Farmer Award could help you. Each year a pioneering Scottish farmer is awarded £4,000 and a package of practical support to help them communicate their ideas to other land managers. The cash can be used either to fund a specific project or simply to allow the winner take time away from their farm work to speak at events or host farm walks. Click here to find out more.

Development Opportunities in the Galloway Forest Park
Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) is offering four properties on a long term lease to businesses, with a view to providing a novel recreational service within the Galloway Forest Park. Applications are invited from individuals or businesses to take on a 10-year lease of any of the four properties within Galloway Forest Park by the 27th February. For more information visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowaydevelopment

Edinburgh Office Space?
SUP members looking for a meeting space in Edinburgh during February and March should consider The Melting Pot in Rose Street. SUP secured a special rate for members and this has been extended until the end of March. If you would like to find out more about The Melting Pot, or to book space, contact them direct on 0131 243 2626 or visit www.themeltingpotedinburgh.org.uk

Interesting Reading – Plunkett Franchise Models
The Plunkett Franchise Models Project has identified the agricultural marketing co-operatives of the future and built replicable models of them. By making these models available to everyone, we want the farming community and everyone living in rural areas to identify these new business opportunities quickly, and to know how to set up marketing co-operatives to exploit these opportunities effectively. The following Models are available: Charcoal Products, Farmers’ Markets Operation, Local Food for Food Service, Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, Wood for Heat and Power. To read more click here.

Rural Enterprise in a Recession – Call for Papers
The University of the West of Scotland, Dumfries Campus is pleased to announce that the 7th Rural Entrepreneurship Conference will be sponsored by The Commission for Rural Communities and will be run in collaboration with the University of Cumbria and the Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency (CREA) on: Thursday 28 and Friday 29 May 2009 … click here for more.

Borders Events to promote?
The Scottish Borders has a new resource for Event Planners and Event Visitors. www.ourscottishborders.com/eventswill act as a portal to the various events lisitings in the Scottish Borders and provide useful information and links for Event Planners.

For more information or if you have additions that will encourage people to come to the region contact Stephen McLean, Events Strategy Officer, Tel: 01835 825066
SAMcLean@scotborders.gov.uk at Scottish Borders Council, Newtown St Boswells, Melrose TD6 0SA.

Climate Change Bill and Forestry lease proposal
The SUP Board has been discussing the draft Climate Change Bill and specifically the clause to allow Forestry Commission Scotland to lease up to 25% of the national forest estate to the private sector. Click here to read more.

Destination Management Organisation for D&G?
In November 2008 the Area Tourism Partnership, together with ADGAP, was successful in securing funding from the Dumfries and Galloway Council towards a feasibility study into the formation of a Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for the region. The project group appointed Destination Development specialists, the Stevens View Partnership to conduct the study.

A DMO is a commercially-driven private sector led, public sector supported, partnership set up to improve tourism in the area for the benefit of local businesses, the community and our visitors. It is a body which is commonly found in successful destinations in Europe and North America.

Workshops were held across the region in mid-January with over 100 participants representing tourism interests. If you were unable to attend the workshops but would to feed into the research, comment or find out more visit http://www.destinationdg.co.uk

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