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West Kilbride’s Community Craft Initiative wins lottery

The West Kilbride Community Council Initiative Limited (WKCIL) have a big reason to celebrate. Not only have their plans for converting the Barony Church into a cutting edge Craft Centre for local craftsmen to showcase their skill been met with approval from the Big Lottery committee, they have been awarded £870,560 in funds from the Growing Community Assets programme for the same.

The Lottery Committee noted with appreciation that the quality of the plans- prepared and drafted meticulously over a year by the Barony Project Team- and gave recognition to their outstanding application through the grant.

The application was prepared by Craft Development Manager, Maggie Broadley and the actual building designed by local resident and nationally renowned architect Angus Kerr. The team worked on the project tirelessly to ensure that they got a grant from the Lottery Committee, and now they’ve achieved just that.

Eddie Wood, Chairperson of WKCIL, stated: “There is still work to be done to secure the match funding but the Directors believe the development of this Centre will play a significant part in securing the long term future of the village. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us, with special mention to our local fundraisers.”

The Craft Centre is intended to be a state of the art studio for local craftsmen and their handiworks, in order to generate national and local interest in the town.

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Visit from MP Michael Russell opens doors for West Kilbride

Visit from MP Michael Russell opens doors for West Kilbride

A visit from Scottish Government Minister Michael Russell proved a windfall of interest and support for the West Kilbride Initiative Board.

Mr. Russell, responsible for the departments of Culture, External Affairs and Constitution, had paid a visit to the Village Gallery, Craft Studios and Barony on Saturday, August 19th. He was particularly impressed by the work of local craftsmen being showcased at the new crafts exhibition.

His timing couldn’t have been better either. The Board had launched a leaflet propaganda to gather donations from residents to support various village regeneration and initiative projects. Active support is needed from the community for the developers to keep up with their work.

Mr. Russell’s interest in the Board’s initiative and standards of achievement has already gotten things moving. Plans are already underway to refurbish the Barony into a cutting edge craft exhibition space with education and workshop areas, and they have already been approved by the North Ayrshire Council. The bids are to go before the Lottery Committee by end October, where hopefully they will continue to meet with the same enthusiasm and approval.

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Scotland’s Scarecrow Festival

Scotland’s Scarecrow Festival

First hosted in West Kilbride, Scotland, the scarecrow festival was an initiative to help promote spirit and civic pride within the community and to celebrate its beginnings as an agricultural community. The festival is now widely embraced by West Kilbride residents and businesses.

This is now a very large annual event involving all the residents and many businesses who proudly make and display hundreds of different scarecrows, some very humorous around the community including their gardens. Although the Scarecrow Festival is open to everyone, scarecrow makers do have to complete an entry form and in the past there has been a theme for the scarecrows. The entry fees all go towards the festival and as long as their scarecrows are up by opening day, anything goes. As an added incentive, scarecrow makers can buy scarecrows on stick packs. These packs tell the entry maker everything they need in order to completely make a scarecrow on a stick for the festival. These packs go on sale at the beginning of July. The packs and the entry forms can be found and purchased at some of the craft shops around town, but don’t wait to pick yours up. Read the full story


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