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Council Invests 1 million in Community Transport Projects

1st June 2009

The importance of good transport services in rural communities has been recognised by Highland Councillors with an allocation of 1,004,000 worth of grants over the next two years to community transport projects.

A total of 23 community groups in the Highlands will benefit from the allocation agreed by the Council's Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee.

Committee Chairman Councillor John Laing highlighted the huge value of community transport, the majority of which operates in remote and rural areas. These include social car schemes, community minibuses and a community ferry very often developed by volunteers to suit local circumstances.

He said: "As a Council, we are committed to supporting our rural communities and this is a major investment in lifeline services. Most community transport services enable residents to take a fuller part in community life. They combat remoteness and can support employment in communities. It is also cost effective."

Councillor Laing praised the efforts of the staff in the Council's transport section for their hard work in the preparation of this initiative.

The biggest grant goes to the Badenoch and Strathspey Community Transport Company, which also secured 492,000 from the Big Lottery. Over the two years, the Council is contributing 138,872 towards the running costs of the company, which has 1,000 clients and operates with over 100 volunteers. Caithness Voluntary Group is receiving 123,907 towards the costs of running three vehicles, which cover Wick, Thurso and rural Caithness.

Other two-year grants awarded are as follows:-

Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross: North West Community Bus Association, 73,268; Transport for Tongue, 49,995; Wick and East Caithness Community Transport, 10,716; Helmsdale and District Community Bus Association: 8,745.

Ross Skye and Lochaber: Lochaber Community Car Scheme, 87,180; The Sunart Centre, Strontian, 75,641; Sound of Mull Transport Group, 68,665; Lochaber Transport Forum, 54,615; Gairloch Community Car Scheme, 52,143; Sleat Community Trust, 43,231; South West Ross Community Car Scheme, 29,983; Applecross Community Bus, 29,717.

Lochleven Community Minibus Association, 22,371; Skye and Lochalsh CVO, 22,312: Mallaig and District Community Transport Association, 19,671; Morvern Community Transport Association, 17,261; Bracadale Community Minibus Group, 8,000; Ardgay and District Community Council, 455.

Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey: Nairn Community Transport Company, 43,593; Strathnairn Community Transport Association, 18,382.

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