Community groups share £27m funding for regeneration projects

Motherwell Football Club Community Trust among groups to receive money.

Motherwell Football Club Community Trust among groups sharing £27m Scottish Government funding STV News

Community groups across Scotland are to share £27m to regenerate disadvantaged and rural areas.

It is hoped the investment will help tackle child poverty and address issues including addiction and suicide prevention.

Motherwell Football Club Community Trust was one of 23 initiatives selected to receive money in the latest round of funding from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

In 2018, the Premiership club lost 12 supporters to suicide in one season.

“We felt as a club we had to take steps to address that,” said the trust’s general manager Dawn Middleton. “Motherwell Football Club has a huge reach when it come to that 18-to-45 male demographic.”

The trust converted a derelict sports pitch into a recreation area and base for support groups at particular risk of suicide.

Miss Middleton said the new facility would allow the trust to provide dedicated support services and a sense of community to help reintegrate people into society.

Tony McGowan has been playing walking football at the facility for almost a year after a recommendation by his doctor.

During the pandemic his depression and social anxiety got so bad he was unable to leave the house.  

“I feel like part of a team again,” he said. “I think, for us all, we feel part of a group of people you have something in common with, but from all different walks of life.”

Since 2014, the RCGF has funded more than 200 projects.

Community wealth minister Tom Arthur said: “These innovative, grassroots schemes have developed with communities to address local needs.

“Scottish Government support will help provide services like employment training, affordable childcare, mental health support and addiction counselling.

“Derelict landmarks will be redeveloped and new buildings created.”

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