The Initiative was established in August 2001 following a series of working group meetings within the Community Council. The Community Council recognised that, because of its Constitution, it was not able to access funds from Government and other bodies to carry out improvements for the benefit of the village. Since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament local communities were being encouraged to identify their own local needs and apply for the funds to carry out the work needed. Through the Initiative the community now has an organisation with a suitable Constitution to carry out this kind of work. It elects, from a membership of about 45 village residents, a management committee of eight each year.
The first projects were undertaken to help increase the number of visitors to the village; the village website 'www.auchencairn.org.uk' and a tourist brochure for the village. The website is now getting a very large number of hits and, with the help of the information departments of several major British cities, the brochure is effectively distributed. These have been significant factors in restoring visitor numbers following the Foot and Mouth crisis.
The third project was to provide a building and fit it out for the village Post Office. Although we had this facility the lease on the premises was due to expire and no other building was available. This has been undertaken in two stages, initially to provide temporary accommodation so that we did not lose continuity. The village is now the proud owner of its own Post Office, which was opened by the local MSP on 14 May 2003. The Initiative then obtained funding for a business plan, to purchase a site and build a permanent Post Office, Enterprise Centre in the village, and were recently granted £24,212 from the Land Fund to carry this out. Since the responsibility of the Initiative is growing with the acquisition of property it has decided to become a Company limited by guarantee with charitable status.
Other projects include the provision of children's swings in the play area and to increase the footpaths for visitors and residents. Since the new path follows the head of Auchencairn Bay, a site of Special Scientific Interest, a bird hide is being sited along the route of this path.
Membership of the Initiative is open to anyone with an interest in the village although the projects must be based within the Parish. When the interests of the village are served by projects outside the Parish area the Initiative works with similar organisations in the area.
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