UNITE AND CONQUER

community groups from across South Carrick attended a meeting on Monday night to discuss fundraising for the new harbourside facility for Girvan.

And they were told “working together as one, will improve the chance to get big funding”.

Chaired by Girvan Community Council chairman Alec Clark, the Strategy Group’s Stephen Flannagan and council officers Gus Collins and Roddy McDonald, a number of ways were debated on how best to obtain the required funds.

But the emphasis was on the need for a united approach, as funders want evidence that their money will benefit the entire community.

Speaking to invited groups at the Carrick Buildings, Mr Clark said: “I think everybody here tonight, and in the community, realises the importance of having this facility in Girvan.

“My opinion is that we should fundraise as a group and not little splinter groups.

“Any funder will look to see what the community involvment in the project would be. There is no point funding a project that the community does not want.”

Mr Flannagan said: “It is really everybody’s responsibility to come together and help achieve this unique facility. We should be working off the same page throughout this. The more the groups are behind this the better the chance we have of succeding. Everyone has to be pushing for it.”

Community Development head Mr McDonald said the council would help to get the bigger funders on board and suggested the interested parties should draw up a list of exactly what was wanted.

“We are on the cusp of something very special, now is not the time to take the foot off the pedal,” he added.

All the groups at the meeting pledged to help raise funds and work towards seeing the project become a reality.

One popular idea involved the creation of a membership scheme to guarantee the new complex had a healthy income.

Other fundraising proposals included staging events such as fetes, galas and concerts.

According to Mr Clark: “We have a lot of people here who make our town and surrounding villages tick.

“There is nothing better than tapping into those in the community who have the expertise.”

South Ayrshire Council’s Mr Collins said there would be plenty of opportunities for residents to get their views across.

“We need to do a lot of consultation,” he told the meeting.

“Different funders expect different levels of consultation, so we will do our best to get them to help fund the project.”

There will be further consultation events in the Carrick Buildings next month when members of the public will have the chance to view the council paper voted through in December and get answers to any of their queries.

Thursday, March 17 will be an open evening for the town’s young people.

Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 will allow everyone the chance to nominate what they would like to see included.

The next meeting of the Strategy Group will be on Wednesday, February 23, at 7pm, in the Carrick Buildings.