TWO Cowden-Gelly community groups are celebrating after they were handed a share of funding from the National Lottery.

Crossgates Greenfingers and the Benarty Community Forum are amongst 137 local community, sports and arts groups from across Scotland who have been handed a slice of £1,245,835 in grants from its 'Awards for All' scheme.

The awards, which are of 21 that have been made across Fife and Tayside to the tune of £144,481, have been made to mark the 25th anniversary since the National Lottery's launch on November 19 1994.

Since then, more than £3.1 billion has been invested into more than 64,000 good causes in Scotland thanks to lottery players, and Crossgates Greenfingers and Benarty Community Forum have received awards of £9,500 and £9,871 respectively.

Crossgates Greenfingers, who this year received a gold award from Beautiful Fife for a fourth successive year, as well as accolades for the best large village and community involvement, are to work in partnership with Crossgates Community Woodland to install a large polytunnel on land owned by the latter.

It will allow the groups to grow plants for its award-winning village displays, and act as a meeting place.

The funding received by Benarty Community Forum is to be used towards helping them expand their community shop, which opened in June 2017 and is located in Benarty Square, Ballingry, with a coffee and chat area, and a second hand furniture section.

It will also help to upskill the volunteers who run the premises, encourage socialisation, and provide affordable homeware for those in need.

The National Lottery's Awards for All Scotland scheme is a joint initiative from the National Lottery Community Fund, Creative Scotland and sportscotland, and awards grants of between £300 and £10,000 to local groups.

A spokesperson said: "Over the last 25 years, National Lottery players have raised an amazing £3.1 billion for 64,000 good causes in Scotland.

"Most of these awards have been for £10,000 or less so it's wonderful to be able to celebrate this birthday milestone with a further 173 groups benefitting today through the small grants scheme, National Lottery Awards for All.

"It's great to see groups across Tayside and Fife sharing in the celebrations with projects that will bring local people together to meet new friends, learn new skills and build confidence amongst people of all ages."

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