Four projects in East Ayrshire have received almost £1.3million of funding which will help people into work and improve leisure and cultural provision.

Community projects in New Cumnock and Auchinleck have been successful in gaining funding after East Ayrshire Council was one of the councils selected by the UK Government to bid on behalf of projects back in May this year.

The development of a Re-use Hub by New Cumnock Development Trust (NCDT) has been awarded £75,337. The hub will operate as a social enterprise, developing skills and creating sustainable jobs as well as being a welcoming space for the community to come together to learn, share and socialise.

The project will begin by refurbishing and repairing IT and computer equipment and bikes, adding in small household electrical appliance repairs as the skills base grows. All of these re-use activities will provide skills, training and apprenticeships for young people, and there will also be formal training provided for older people who have lost jobs and need to learn new skills or trades.

Council Leader, Douglas Reid, said: “All of the successful projects complement our existing work and align to our strategic priorities from investing in skills and employment opportunities for people of all ages, to raising awareness of waste reduction and getting leisure and cultural services into our rural communities.

“This money is being spent on projects that can make a significant difference to local people and I look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of these over the coming year.”

Auchinleck Community Development Initiative’s ‘Support to Engage Project’ (STEP) also gained a cash boost of £86,958. This is a new initiative that will provide a support programme to rural communities including Auchinleck, Muirkirk, Catrine, Logan and Lugar.

The programme is being designed to engage with individuals who experience barriers to employment, education and training opportunities and will include those who are unemployed, on low incomes, ex-offenders, and those experiencing mental health or addiction issues.

All in East Ayrshire and Leisure at the Heart of All Communities will, too, benefit from £454,234 and £681,790 in funding.