Local groups win more than £100k in grassroots funding

Left to right:  stuart smyk, lennon fairgrieve, jaden millar, declan, jamie smyk, rory edmund, rory thomson, brydon fairgrieve

Left to right: stuart smyk, lennon fairgrieve, jaden millar, declan, jamie smyk, rory edmund, rory thomson, brydon fairgrieve

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Two Gorebridge groups are to share in a £110,000 boost thanks to a fund made up of cash confiscated from criminals.

Arniston Rangers Youth FC (ARYFC) has been awarded £105,000 and Gorebridge Opportunities will get just over £1000 as part of the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities scheme.

The local groups were among 40 across the country who will benefit from £2 million seized from conmen and drug-dealers.

Arniston Rangers were one the biggest winners of the initiative to reinvest ill-gotten gains into grassroots projects.

Andrew Cranston, chairman, said that the money will go towards an upgrade of the training ground.

“It’s beyond disrepair with an old 2G surface,” he said. “It’s quite small and owned by the council, but we are in talks to get ownership or to lease it. We applied for the fund to resurface this area as 3G and make it slightly larger so it is regulation size.

“The youth team haSn’t got any proper winter facilities and this money will help give us an up-to-date all year round training ground.

“This means so much for the community and the kids. It gives them something that they feel they own.”

Plans for the design are in the early stages, with Mr Cranston thanking D2 Architectural Design LTD for their work.

ARYFC has 140 members aged between five and 12 who currently have to travel outside the village to practice.

Midlothian MSP Christine Grahame praised the initiative, saying: “Cashback for Communities is a unique programme that seizes money from criminals and reinvests it back into communities such as here in Midlothian.

“This funding will support both groups to continue doing great work in the community – a valuable investment in our young people.”