Royal Bank of Scotland Closures
With RBS announcing the closure of 62 branches, including some local ones (Carnwath, Biggar, Strathaven), Scottish Rural Action (click here for their website) want to hear your views on the impact of these closure on rural communities.
The survey link is https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RBSClosures ,and Scottish Rural Action will be sharing responses with the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster in January.
RBS do have a mobile banking service which services West Calder and Forth on a weekly basis. For more information see https://personal.rbs.co.uk/…/ways…/mobile-branch/lanark.html!
First Home for WAT IF?
WAT IF? (Woolfords, Auchengray and Tarbrax Improvement Foundation) has taken its first step into the property market by purchasing a 3-bedroom house in the rural village of Tarbrax. WAT IF? plans to refurbish the property and convert it into an affordable rental to meet local housing needs. Work is expected to start on the house next summer with new tenants in place by the end of the year.
New Grant Schemes open!
We are extremely excited to announce the 2017/2018 Grant Schemes!
Following on from it's success this year, the Driving Lesson Grant is being extended for another year! We have shaken up the Community Grant scheme and raised the maximum grant available to £2,000!
Plus the WAT Next? Education Grant and Bursary Scheme is now open to ALL AGES, with the Bursary awards extending to 6 awards of £1,000!
See the Grant Schemes page for further information!
Partnership Agreement Delivers Fast Fibre Broadband for Auchengray
BT will be upgrading broadband in our area, and has shared outline plans with WAT IF? on which postcodes will benefit. This work will involve BT funding and installing new fibre cabinets in our area. The length of your telephone line from one of these new cabinets determines the speed you will receive – those within 1km get the biggest benefit (anything from 30 to 80Mbps), but you should see an improvement if you are within 2km (at least 15Mbps). We do not know the locations of these new cabinets yet (BT is still planning this), so although we have a list of postcodes, we can’t yet say for certain if everyone in that postcode area will benefit (in a worst case scenario it could be that only one house in a postcode area will benefit - but this is unlikely). We expect these new cabinets to appear where there are clusters of homes (if you are in a distant or isolated home unfortunately you will need to wait and see what we get).
Right now we believe all but two postcodes in the WAT IF area will receive some sort of upgrade, but this is still to be confirmed. We are trying to find out more from BT just now on who exactly will benefit from this work.
The two postcodes that will definitely not be covered were the village of Auchengray, and this is why WAT IF? has signed a ‘Community Fibre Partnership’ with BT. This allows WAT IF? to part fund the upgrade, and therefore we can fill this gap in BT’s plans. The total share of costs for the community was £13,175.00 (BT don’t tell us how much the actual total is), however because of the school in Auchengray, we received an additional grant from BT bringing the cost to WAT IF down to £3,293.75. This new fibre cabinet in Auchengray will connect about 60 properties, and should benefit those in Auchengray, Mosshat and Polkelly. According to the contract, BT will complete the work within 12 months, however we hope that it will take place as part of the wider works in our area which we hope will be sooner than 12 months.
Once we have more details from BT on their planned work, we can look at whether there are still any gaps remaining, and consider additional Community Fibre Partnership agreements if necessary.
Alongside this we continue to speak to our contact in Scottish Government to understand more about their plans. The “Reaching 100% Programme” (known as R100) is a Scottish Government commitment to deliver at least 30Mbps speeds to 100% of Scotland by the end of 2021, and we are trying to find out more about how and when this will benefit our area.
Business and Local Group Directory
Are you a local business? Want to promote yourself?
Get listed in our new business directory!
Simply complete the short form on the 'Add Your Business' page!
Looking for new members for your local club or group? Want to share your activities with the community?
Head to 'Add Your Group' and send us your details!
**Community Café Cancelled - Fri 19th**
Due to the adverse weather conditions, and the forecasted heavy snow on Friday, the Pop Up Community Café on Friday 19th January has been cancelled.
Click here to see all our 'upcoming events'.
Windfarm Update Page
The page will give info on works, abnormal loads and any road delays or diversions. Click here to view.
Yearly Report and Accounts
The "Report and Financial Statements for the year ending 30 November 2016" can be downloaded below:
The "Report and Financial Statements for the year ending 30 November 2015" can be downloaded below: