£1.65 million cash for local communities

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A brand new £1.65m Villages Improvement Fund has been set up for smaller communities in West Lothian over the next five years.

The fund will be open to 26 local communities with the aim of improving the local environment. It includes a shop frontage and improvement scheme, operating in a similar way to schemes running in West Lothian’s traditional town centres, providing a grant of up to 50 per cent of the cost of works to a maximum of £750.

Small scale village improvements and initiatives include investment in physical improvements to the streetscape such as seating, cycle stands, direction signs, village gateways, access improvements, planting and soft landscaping.

Investment in community provision could include projects that support young people and other local community facilities.

Cathy Muldoon, executive councillor for development and transport, said: “Previous funding has focused on traditional town centres and while this is welcomed we feel it is important to ensure that our villages also benefit from financial support. The fund will also complement the ongoing work within our town centres.

“West Lothian is a great place to live, work and do business. The fund aims to provide a boost for West Lothian villages and local traders. It also aims to promote a pride of place and provide an opportunity for communities to engage and support their young people.”