Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) received a funding boost of £5,000 through the Clydesdale Bank Spirit of the Community Awards to recognise the important role they play in the local community.

Clydesdale Bank announced the substantial donations to voluntary groups at an awards ceremony in Glasgow at the end of last month to recognise the charities and not for profit organisations which are going the extra mile.

Fifteen community groups across Scotland were selected to share funding of £80,000 to make a real difference in their local area including COAST, based on the Isle of Arran.

COAST works to protect and restore the coastal and marine environment around Arran and the Clyde. Through educational activities, campaigning and research they encourage a sense of ownership and involvement in marine management and conservation. The charity received £5,000 to develop and deliver a promotional campaign to raise the profile of Marine Protected Areas in the Clyde and Scotland. Called ‘Our Secret Sea Life’, the campaign aims to engage more than 4,000 people of Arran, the firth of Clyde, the West Coast and Glasgow.

Now in its fifth year, the awards programme aims to recognise charities and not for profit organisations for the invaluable contributions they make to their local communities. Groups were invited to enter the awards programme under one of three categories; projects which help people to have a healthy relationship with money, projects which help people to improve their local environment and projects which help people into employment.

Andrew Binnie, Executive Director of COAST, said: “We are delighted to have been given this award by Clydesdale Bank. We aim to deliver an innovative campaign to involve the public in marine management and conservation. We will be raising awareness through “Our Secret Sea Life” exhibition and workshops. On behalf of us all, I would like to say a huge thank you to Clydesdale Bank for giving us the opportunity to promote Marine Protected Areas.”