COMMUNITY groups in Helensburgh and Lomond have less than a month to get their bids in to Argyll and Bute Council's 'supporting communities fund' in 2019-20.

The application process has changed from previous years, and groups can now apply for up to 100 per cent of the total funding costs for their project or activity – up to a maximum of £2,500.

In another change, a pilot scheme in 2018, which saw local residents given the chance to decide which projects were successful in their bids through a public vote, will not be continued for a second year.

And this year, for the first time, groups can submit their applications online.

As was the case before 2018, the power to decide on which applicants get funds will rest this year with members of the council's Helensburgh and Lomond area committee.

The deadline for submission of completed applications is Wednesday, February 6, 2019.

The fund is aimed at supporting community projects and helping to kick start new projects.

Councillor Robin Currie, the council’s policy lead for communities, said: “There are a lot of excellent project ideas in our communities and I’m pleased that the council will once again be able to help some of those come to fruition through the Supporting Communities Fund. I’d encourage any community groups with fresh ideas to apply for funding.”

The council says it's particularly keen to encourage new groups with fresh ideas.

Advice and support on funding is available from the authority's community development team, who can be contacted at 01436 657647 or via email address

Application forms can be found at if you require a hard copy or further information or guidance, contact the team.

There is one round of funding annually. Applications that are agreed to have met the criteria will be scored by officials, and recommendations made to the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee, for a decision to be taken in spring 2019.

The same process will be followed in the council's three other administrative areas – Bute and Cowal; Oban, Lorn and the Isles; and Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay.

Last year's successful applicants in Helensburgh were:

– Access to a Unique Marine Environment, Loch Long, Arrochar

– Cobbler Climbers

– Colgrain Primary School Community Garden

– Cove and Kilcreggan Youth Cafe

– Gareloch Riding for the Disabled Association

– Geilston Hall - Argyll’s Charles Rennie Mackintosh Trail

– Generation Communities - Arrochar, Tarbet and Succoth

– Helensburgh and Lomond Autism Cooking Classes

– Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank

– Jean’s Bothy Community Health Hub Courses

– Meet and Eat Lunch Club run by volunteers from Kirkmichael

– Rhu and Shandon Community Centre Family Activities for 2018

– Rosneath Peninsula Highland Gathering

– Route 81 Friday Night Youth Provision

– The Cove and Kilcreggan Lunch Club