MUTHILL’S Low Carbon Community Project came to a conclusion on Saturday but residents have vowed this is just the beginning of a long-term improvement strategy for the village.
A busy public hall celebrated the successes of the programme over the past 22 months and Muthill is now looking forward to the Community Action Plan which was also launched at the event by local MSP Roseanna Cunningham.
Ms Cunningham said: “This is the sort of event all MSPs would like to see happening in their communities and I hope that it will catch on more widely. Turning communities on to the idea that even small actions can make a big difference is one of the hardest things to do.
“The old Scottish saying ‘mony a mickle maks a muckle’ is certainly true here as no matter how small the intention it all makes a big difference. Muthill is part of a much bigger picture in Scotland.
“And what you are also seeing in Muthill is the strength of community spirit.”
The ambitious new project will see Muthill residents play an active role in deciding the future of their community.
Priority actions include improvements to community facilities, development of a safe cycleway to Crieff, reduction of the impacts of traffic and improvements to the physical environment of the village.
And at the event on Saturday, residents were invited to indicate their willingness to help deliver these priority actions.
Zoe Kemp, one of the driving forces behind the Muthill Low Carbon Project, said that Muthill had achieved a lot already. She told the Herald: “We’ve learned a huge amount.
“The carbon challenge project hasn’t had an easy ride. There was, and still is, a degree of scepticism and suspicion about the project and our motives. Running and managing a big project through a voluntary management team has been challenging and hugely time-consuming. Some projects we’ve started have hit barriers and some have failed despite best efforts.”
The Community Futures project, which will be run by a steering group representing organisations from across the community, was initiated by members of Muthill Public Hall Committee, with support from Muthill and Tullibardine Community Council and Muthill Community Development Association and is funded through grant awards.
Speaking of the action plan, Zoe added: “There are some clear priorities such as an off-road all-abilities path to Crieff, which seem to have universal support.
“Others, such as the refurbishment of the existing hall or development of a new facility, are perhaps more complex. It seems clear to me that this issue cannot be addressed separately from dealing with the Village Museum or addressing the need for a café and meeting place.
“It is these types of project that can’t be taken forward by an individual group or management committee, and will require the input, involvement and support of the whole community.
“We have demonstrated that together we can achieve, that we can deliver projects and that we can be inclusive. We have our action plan, with priorities identified, and we need to work together to take it forward in a co-ordinated and collaborative manner.”