Former Coalfield communities are being transformed thanks to the work of 12 young apprentices and a unique partnership that is bringing many new environmental improvements across the Falkirk Council area.
A main grant from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust is helping fund the Gairdoch Training Initiative including the team of young apprentices.
The team has already help transform Gairdoch Park in Carronshore by helping to remove old play area equipment and help to install replacements as well as carrying out planting and other path improvements throughout the park.
Future projects taking place over the next nine months include Kinneil Estate in Bo'ness (where work includes path improvements and creation; stone cleaning and rebuilding; tree clearance; improved drainage), Muiravonside Country Park and both New Carriden and New Grandsable cemeteries.
All of the team are studying for their Vocational Qualification Level One in Amenity Horticulture over the year long project and all have previously been unemployed.
Falkirk Council has teamed up with The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, The Gairdoch Initiative, Oatridge College and Skills Development Scotland to run the programme.
Cllr Craig Martin, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “This has been a great partnership for Falkirk Council that is delivering real employment opportunities for young people as well as bringing improvements to our local communities.
“This is one of our key priority areas and the Gairdoch Initiative is a great example of how working with the community, we can all contribute to improving our local areas.”
Scottish Trustee of the Coalfield Regeneration Trust, Joe Thomas said: “We were delighted to be able to give the project a main grant, because it both helps young people into employment and improves the environment in former mining areas, which are key priorities for us.”
His colleague and fellow Scottish Trustee Nicky Wilson, added: “Helping people from former mining communities into work is one of our key priorities, and this project will give these young people the skills they need to find and keep a job.
“This grant shows that the Trust is committed to helping projects which can make a real difference to Coalfield communities.
“Re-training and job creation play a vital part in regenerating former pit areas, but the Trust also recognises the importance of community facilities.”
Picture shows the apprentices with Councillor Craig Martin (centre beside plaque) and Joe Thomas, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (back right)
Note to Editors:
- The Coalfields Regeneration Trust was formed in 1999 to help mining communities recover from the devastating effects of pit closures. Since then the Trust has spent over £15m in Scotland supporting over 500 community-based and job creation projects in the hardest hit areas.
- For more information on the Coalfields Regeneration Trust go to: