Lapwing Lodge in the Gleniffer Braes will soon have a new indoor activity hall thanks to major funding from a community development scheme.
Construction is now underway on the multi-purpose hall after its owners West Region Scout Council secured £184,000 from the European Union funded Greater Renfrewshire and Inverclyde LEADER programme.
“Lapwing Lodge is already a popular outdoor centre offering bike trails, canoeing, archery and even has its own Hobbit’s ‘Shire,” explains Jim Duffy, West Region chairman.
“We wanted to broaden its appeal even further with a facility which can cater for a wide range of indoor activities and crucially provide a wet weather refuge.”
The new stand-alone hall will come complete with toilets and showers for people camping and be fully-equipped for a range of sports including football and basketball.
Jim added: “The funding from the LEADER programme together with other grants has made this a reality and all going well we hope to have the hall in use later this year.
“Lapwing Lodge is well-known as a scout centre, but it’s also used by lots of school and community groups. It’s already very popular at weekends and we’re really keen that it is well-used during the week and that as many different groups right across Renfrewshire can benefit from all the facilities on offer.”
Photo: Photo two shows a child engrossed at the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park Tag-n-track project
LEADER funding also meant thousands of people got to participate in a Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park project, learning about different birds and tagging-and-tracking Lesser Black-backed Gulls as they migrated to Europe and Africa.
Clyde Muirshiel Countryside Officer Alan Brown said: “Over the two-year programme we had community events and school workshops helping children to understand aspects of bird behaviour as well as the importance of satellite technology in tracking birds.
“The grant funding from LEADER and the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled us to employ two members of staff to tag the gulls, organise events, do school visits and to purchase equipment such as the satellite tags and tablets. The project was really well-received, and people learned that, as one pupil said to us, gulls aren’t just pesky birds who eat stuff and annoy us.”
Three more Renfrewshire-based projects recently had funding support confirmed as Larch Green Lodges in Langbank were awarded £179,000 to create two eco-friendly holiday lodges, while Carli’s Kindergarten received £94,000 to establish a Reggio Emilia-inspired children’s nursery in Linwood and Semple Stories and Lochwinnoch’s Glories has received £18,600 to bring the region’s local history to life, including guided walks from Castle Semple Visitor Centre.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The LEADER programme has helped support a range of fantastic projects which are delivering great benefits to rural communities in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.
“These projects are a success thanks to the passion and pride of our local people and in Renfrewshire we are building on this further, having established new funds for community groups and created Local Partnerships to give local people a louder voice than ever as together we can create a thriving Renfrewshire, benefiting all our communities.”
Find out more about the LEADER programme and future funding opportunities at: www.grileader.co.uk.
Photo: (Left to Right): Colin Pomeroy, LEADER Project Development Officer; Hilary Graham Lapwing Lodge Management Board Chair; Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson and Jim Duffy, West Region Scout Council chairman