The Isle of Luing Community Trust's Atlantic Islands Centre has won The Herald Society Community Project of the Year 2016 Award at a major awards event in Glasgow on 2 November. This is its third award this year having won the Scottish Civic Trust My Place Award 2016 in March and the Argyll & Bute Third Sector Interface Social Enterprise of the Year Award in September.
The Centre was built to provide a community hub to improve social life on Luing, to display its arts, crafts and history in changing exhibitions all year round, to offer a rich cultural programme of arts and science events and activities, and to provide visitors with fresh, locally sourced seafood and other produce, as well as insights into life on Luing and the other Argyll Islands. Its purpose is to help to regenerate and improve the quality of life on Luing, and to stem its decline in population.
Since opening in May 2015 the Centre has made a huge difference to people's lives by being open 7 days a week all year round and attracting 3 times as many visitors as came to Luing before including Church, WRI, U3A, UHI, geology, kayakers and other Trusts. It has created 6 FTE jobs (an increase of over 30%) and motivated 36 regular volunteers who donate 1,000 hours of work per month to the Centre.
Birgit Whitmore, the Trust's Events Coordinator, said, "The Centre has also brought considerable economic benefits to other businesses on the island such as Luing Stores & Post Office, self-catering accommodation, the B&B, caravan park, bike hire, fishing businesses and local artists. Its varied programme of over 50 theatre, concerts, talks, workshops and social events has proved very popular, helped by almost £15,000 funding from Creative Scotland."
"The educational benefits include courses on digital photography, bread making, cookery, felting, jewellery making, geology, natural history, business start-up and writing. This has led to over 20 partnerships with education, arts, science, natural history, tourism, heritage, Council and social enterprise organisations."
She added, "Winning these awards is a tremendous achievement for the people of Luing and is the result of a great deal of hard work by our dedicated team of staff and volunteers. We would like to thank them all for making this possible." More information about the Atlantic Islands Centre and Isle of Luing Community Trust is available at Atlantic Islands Centre and at Isle of Luing. For further information and comment contact Birgit Whitmore at 01852 314096 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org