Providing employment opportunities, supporting families and mitigating the impacts of poverty form key parts of the Council’s recovery plans, and a project to deliver this in a local community has now received a key funding award.
Plans setting out how staff and services will transition and adapt to post-Covid life were agreed at Council today. These plans are already moving into action, with a project to deliver a Community Hub at the Bowmar Centre with a focus on community empowerment, learning, wellbeing and social enterprises receiving £550,000 funding from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.
The report explains how the Council’s previously agreed priorities, set out in the Be the Future report, will be prioritised in the face of unprecedented social and economic challenges. The ambitions and principles agreed in Be the Future remain, with the Council building on the momentum gained during recent months to work with our national and local partners to explore the potential opportunities for closer partnership working in the future.
While some activity carried out during the Covid-19 response phase has provided a positive and catalytic effect on taking forward potentially significant changes in how services are delivered, how we engage both internally and externally and how our staff are deployed. It has also highlighted critical issues for early attention such as how we tackle economic performance and the issue of digital exclusion.
As a key part of the ambitions in Be the Future, the Bowmar project in Alloa South East will convert the existing centre into a modern community hub with training, learning and wellbeing activities with a focus on participatory citizenship, creativity and digital inclusion supporting local social enterprises. The centre already hosts a number of community based programmes, and the project was developed after engagement with local people to hear what they wanted for their community. Work will continue with the community to reflect their needs and support local regeneration activity.
Council Leader Ellen Forson said: “Covid-19 has had a profound impact on all public services, and we must accept that there will be no going back to how we operated prior to this crisis. However we now have an opportunity to work creatively with all our partners to focus on our priority areas in Be the Future to deliver the support and services our residents and local businesses need, as we have done throughout this crisis.
“The project to transform the Bowmar Centre to provide a community hub that truly meets the needs of local people is one way that we are going to Respond, Recover and Renew in Clackmannanshire, and I am delighted that the Scottish Government has agreed to award funding towards these innovative plans. I look forward to working with people in Alloa South East and our partners to ensure that the hub reflects local needs and ambitions for the area.”