Twechar Community Action bid for the Big Lottery Fund grant shortly before Christmas, and was awarded more than £400,000 – the total amount it had claimed – last week.
This week chairman Sandra Sutton welcomed the news.
She said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. It gives us funding for five years and by that time hopefully the horticulture group will be sustainable.”
The Twechar Environmental Training Group was set up in 2007 and since then has only ever had short term funding. Despite this the group has grown in strength and numbers, retaining volunteers and training squads of gardeners who either go on to employment or to other courses.
Sandra said: “For some of them being with us gets them another job, or a good reference. Not everyone goes on to a gardening career.”
As well as providing valuable training opportunities the group carries out commercial gardening work in East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire, maintains gardens in and around Twechar and grows food for community projects, healthy eating workshops and general sale.
Sandra added: “This is the biggest grant we’ve ever had and it is absolutely amazing. It means so much to the project, helping people to get work and training and it really improves the village too.’’