Funding hopes for submarine centre and riding group

A riding group and a submarine centre could get funding from a Ministry of Defence (MoD) scheme to strengthen ties with communities.

They will have their applications for grants put forward for approval to the Scottish Regional Armed Forces Community Covenant Awards Board later this month.

Argyll and Bute’s Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Awards Board met last week and supported the bids.

The Gareloch group of Riding for the Disabled wants to improve awareness of the organisation, increase opportunities and safety for riders and look after their horses.

The proposed Scottish Submarine Centre would be the only one of its kind in Scotland and would be the home of an X51 class  midget submarine of the type that played a significant role during World War Two.

It would also serve as a unique memorial to submariners who have lost their lives serving their country.

Argyll and Bute Council’s veterans’ champion, Councillor Maurice Corry, said: “The members of the board were very impressed with the standard of the bids presented and the hard work put in by all eight applicants.

“The two bids recommended for approval demonstrated fulfilment of all the criteria and showed strong connections between the military community and local residents.”

Last September the council confirmed that the role of the partnership would be to consider local applications for funding under the Community Covenant Grant Scheme.

This programme, which offers funding of £30m over four years across the UK, was launched by the MoD in August.

It aims to strengthen ties between those who serve or have served in the armed forces and the communities in which they work and live.

Community groups, including charities, schools and volunteer groups, can submit applications for awards between £100 and £250,000.

These grants can be used for a range of projects which meet the aims of the covenant – for example bringing together armed forces families with others in their communities, or exhibitions explaining what a local armed forces unit has been doing.