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Caithness News Bulletins April 2004

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Residents in Lairg are celebrating securing the last piece of funding for the upgrade of the local community centre.

Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) has awarded the Lairg Community Association a grant totalling 71,750 to redevelop the run-down facility.

With funding support also coming from The Community Fund (150,000), the Scottish Executive (65,000) and The Highland Council (30,000), the Lairg Community Association will be able to carry out considerable upgrading works including roof repairs, the installation of solar energy panels to make the centre more energy efficient, and general refurbishment works.

Fundraising efforts by the centre Committee and the rest of the 900-strong community over the past year are also helping to meet the 367,000 costs.

The centre has suffered from a lack of investment since the 1960's and as a result, usage has decreased considerably over the years.  However, the transformation of this community facility will encourage more groups and individuals to use it, helping to regenerate community confidence.

Margaret Walker of the Lairg Community Association said: "We are delighted to have secured the last piece of funding for our community centre.  We are grateful to CASE and all our other funders for their support."

Head of Strengthening Communities at CASE, Eann Sinclair said: "Investment in community assets is a priority for CASE and the upgrade of this particular facility will bring benefits to Lairg and the wider Caithness and Sutherland community.

"Another important aspect of this project is the level of community leadership skills that have been developed as well as a general increase in community confidence."