SOME £40,000, from the Scottish Government, will be invested in shaping Dalmellington’s future.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) won the money and will use it to develop a new and more inclusive way to empower local communities in a bid to plan their area’s future.

The CRT has appointed Elaine Stewart as a Community Engagement Worker in Dalmellington just three weeks after receiving the award for its Reclaiming Coalfield Communities programme.

Elaine who lives in Dalmellington and has vast experience of working with the local community said: “I am very excited at the challenge of helping ensure everyone has a voice in shaping Dalmellington’s future.

‘I also really like the ‘Act Act As If You Own The Place’ approach which I believe will lead to a much wider than usual range of people becoming engaged in shaping a new action plan for Dalmellington”.

Elaine will be out and about over the next six months, talking to individuals and groups to ensure the widest possible support for the action plan. She can also be contacted on 07967-327-214.

Reclaiming Our Coalfield Communities is a join initiative by the CRT and the Scottish Electoral Reform Society, with the CRT putting up a £20,000 participatory budget for each community to get priority projects off the ground.

Nicky Wilson, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trustadded: “It is great to see our team of community engagement workers roll up their sleeves and get down to business.

“I am really looking forward to seeing them help their respective communities take futures planning to the next level”.

Willie Sullivan, Scottish Director of the Electoral Reform Society said: “We believe that the ‘Act Act As If You Own The Place’ concept will take decision making closer the real experts, the local people who will be most affected.

“These new posts will be a major boost for the whole process.”

The Scottish Government’s £40,000 award comes from their Aspiring Communities Fund and the European Social Fund.

Announcing the awards, Communities Minister Angela Constance said: “We aim to create a more equal Scotland and want communities to play a part in that.