Cash from the Levenmouth Reconnected Programme Fund will help volunteers carry out a programme of environmental enhancement around key local areas over the next few years.
CLEAR Buckhaven and Methil has been successful in securing £178,345 from the £10 million pot set aside for local projects ahead of the Levenmouth rail link’s return in 2024, and the charity is already eyeing up what to do with the money first.
The group, which stands for Community-Led Environmental Action for Regeneration, was effectively started by a group of residents in 2007 and has gone from strength to strength over the years, gaining charitable status in 2012 and extending actions to Methil in 2018.
But while CLEAR’s work has already put a lasting stamp on many communities for the better, its latest initiative will focus on important areas of Levenmouth’s green network south of the River Leven.
Money from the Levenmouth Reconnected Programme will support CLEAR Buckhaven and Methil in creating more attractive and welcoming public spaces; encouraging greater use of the River Leven and new rail stations through planting and biodiversity (trees, bulbs, wildflowers, shrubs) and food growing (fruit, vegetable beds), and also providing low-cost hard infrastructure such as benches, archways, totems, low-key heritage panels and art.
Using existing underused greenspace is obviously hugely important, but the group is also keen to do what it can to boost the many active travel routes that will be created around the Levenmouth area to link in with the new railway stations in Leven and particularly at Cameron Bridge.
Allen Armstrong, secretary of CLEAR Buckhaven and Methil, cannot wait to see what will be achieved.
He said: “We’re delighted to be in the first tranche of this round of funding.
“We put in a bid of three years funding and essentially that is to roll out this model of community placemaking to inspire the area, especially areas that have been a bit deprived, and linking it to the path network which is emerging.
“It’s not in place yet in its final shape but we see there is a need to plant trees, shrubs and bulbs, and encourage certain path access, so we’ll be doing a lot of things over the next three years.
“It’s quite uplifting to see hundreds of thousands of bulbs brightening up the town following a grey, drab winter, and it not only lifts the spirits but maybe it makes it a better place to be as well.”
The Levenmouth Reconnected Programme (LRP) is a £10 million fund managed by Fife Council, which aims to maximise the economic and social opportunities presented by the new Leven rail link, the regeneration of the River Leven and its proposed path network, investments in renewable energy, as well as other initiatives being implemented within Levenmouth.
The programme aims to create a viable and sustainable legacy for Levenmouth’s people, communities, businesses and visitors.
Mr Armstrong continued: “We’re in an area that’s fallen down the rankings, if you look at the index of multiple deprivation, and while the rail link will not change that overnight, it will be part of the picture of raising expectations and bringing other opportunities that did not exist before now.”
The Levenmouth Reconnected Programme is welcoming applications for grant funding for proposed projects that support the four key grant themes:
Projects must also maximise the economic and social value of the re-opened rail link to Leven to the communities of the Levenmouth area.
The second round of applications for large grant funding is ongoing and these are being assessed, but applications for the fund’s small grants scheme can be submitted at any time.
Applicants can apply for a maximum of 90% of an eligible project’s total costs of no more than £5,000 (exclusive of VAT), while applications are also welcome for up to £5,000 towards the cost of larger eligible projects.