A COMMUNITY group in the Garnock Valley has received major funding to further its renewable energy projects – including the creation of a new job for a young local.

Radio City Association (RCA) – which covers Beith, Dalry, and Kilbirnie - received £28,356 through Paths for All‘s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) COP26 Legacy Fund.

The grant is part of a wider fund designed to change every day travel behaviours to encourage more walking, wheeling, cycling and sustainable transport.

Scott Wilson, RCA community development manager, said: “The funding from SCSP will help expand our ongoing work to give local people more opportunities to make journeys that benefit both their own health and the health of the planet.

“Throughout all aspects of our work we’re looking to engage with users, raise awareness about the climate emergency, as well as increase active travel use.

“The 20-minute neighbourhood concept will bring many benefits to the local area with people becoming active, improving their mental and physical health; traffic is reduced, and air quality improved; local shops and businesses thrive; and people see more of their neighbours, strengthening community bonds.

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“It all comes back down to active travel and trying to encourage people to rethink their modes of transport in becoming healthier and greener, so we’re hoping the facilities and options we are inputting into Garnock Valley will help in doing this.

“We’re all locals so it’s great to see this innovative work being done and to think the community will begin to reap the revenue generated from community-owned renewable energy projects is rewarding.”

The funding has enabled RCA to create a bespoke role which will see Dalry local, Logan Burns, go through an SVQ in business and administration along with a variety of skills courses via a modern apprenticeship.

Logan, 23, said: “It’s a privilege to secure a role aligned to my own passion for promoting sustainability and making a positive impact on the climate emergency.

“My main responsibility is working with disadvantaged groups in the area to promote sustainable travel, while developing a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) app and organising the hiring of ebikes and electric cars.”