SPOTLIGHT: Ballantrae Trust

COMMUNITY BENEFIT FUNDING: Transforming access to, and engagement with, public spaces.

A picture of brightly coloured picnic benches and smooth surface next to a playpark.

The Ballantrae Trust grew out of the local community council’s Ballantrae Development Group, which had been running successful events and projects in the coastal South Ayrshire village. The Trust has a very experienced core group of volunteers and works with an experienced Development Trust, the Creetown Initiative, who currently provide a Development Officer. Their focus is on implementing the community’s development plan and they have several projects recently completed or ongoing to meet those goals, including the successful and expanded Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink.

South Carrick community groups can access community benefit funds from Carrick Futures. The Fund, provided by ScottishPower Renewables, is linked to its nearby Arecleoch and Mark Hill Windfarms in South Ayrshire. A Board of volunteer local residents makes decisions on awards, supported by grant-making charity Foundation Scotland.

Ballantrae Trust is re-developing the Ballantrae Playpark. Stage one of the re-development was to install a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) which was achieved in the summer of 2019. There has been extensive community consultation about the re-design of the playpark and clear evidence of support from the community. The re-development aims to benefit people of all ages within the village, through a range of enhanced facilities which will encourage adults and children to remain in the playpark area for longer.

Now the MUGA is open, the Trust has moved on to stage two of the re-development, including updating the playpark equipment, resurfacing the seating area and replacing benches. The seating area was grassed, uneven and unusable in wet weather (not uncommon in South-West Scotland) and excluded people in wheelchairs or pushchairs. The seating and benches were also in very poor condition, due to both their age and exposure to coastal air.

The total project cost was £7,680 and an award of £6,180 from the local Carrick Futures Community Fund enabled Ballantrae Trust to raise a further £1,500 from South Ayrshire Council who will maintain the benches. A local contractor was used to install the new surface and seats.

The surface and new benches, made from recycled plastic, were installed in the early autumn of 2019. The new seating area is more attractive and useable in all weathers and will encourage people to come together and spend time in the fresh air. The nearby playpark and MUGA make it a good location for families of all ages to spend time. All 700 residents and visitors to the village should benefit from the project.

Rebecca Giblin, Senior Project Officer, said; “The Ballantrae Trust directors and the volunteer sub-group are proud of the visible difference they’ve made to their village. Being able to raise funds for projects like this are confidence builders for everyone involved and help raise awareness of the Trust and its activities. This will lead to continued support from the community.”