Initiative Grant Scheme

Marr Area Partnership has grants of up to £750 available for community projects in Marr, with money provided by Aberdeenshire Council’s Marr Area Committee. Grants under this scheme have a focus on projects which support any aspect of sustainable development within communities. If related to larger schemes the grant can be used for project start-up costs or to help groups develop a project idea. Involvement in the grant scheme also enables us to support, advise and help with the development of project aims and/or management.

The application form is easy to complete and comes with guidance notes. We are available to answer any queries about the grant and to assist with projects if needed. Over the last ten years we have funded a wide range of projects including: transport initiatives, information directories, local communications networks, environmental improvement schemes, cultural and historical projects, and projects related to tourism. Whether you’ve got a project thought through or just have an idea for one, please contact us to discuss your application.

Case Studies

To give you an idea of what a grant can help a community to achieve, please look at our case studies below.

Braemar Community Ltd: Braemar Castle

The aim of this project is to provide a non-profitmaking, volunteer-led service to the Tarland community for the collection and recycling of green garden waste. The service is available to all participating households within the village. We currently have 70 participating households, and 25 volunteers. A recent survey of members showed a very high degree of satisfaction with the service.

Contact: Laura Laura McMeekin;

Tarland Development Group: Tarland Trails

Tarland Development Group was given a grant to support the construction of mountain bike trails in Drummy Woods on the edge of Tarland. The trails consist of three trails of differing styles and difficulties, totalling about 2km, along with a pump track; this allows local people to enjoy mountain biking in a safe but fun and exciting environment without having to travel an excessive distance. Despite the popularity of mountain biking in Scotland there are no similar trails within easy reach of Tarland. The trails, which opened in the summer of 2015, are already encouraging families to go mountain biking together.

Contact: Chris Redmond;

Alford 50+ Indoor Bowling Club Carpet

Alford 50+ Indoor Bowling Club received a grant to replace one of its worn out carpets, which means that the club now has a complete set of serviceable carpets, of great benefit to the club members. The club is open to residents of Alford and the surrounding area and the majority of members are over 65. The club offers social and exercise benefits to its members who meet twice weekly to bowl.

Contact: Roddy Kennedy;

Recent Awards

Here is a list of recipients of the Initiative Grant Scheme from 2015-16.

Other Funding Opportunities and Advice

To provide additional support to those seeking funds for community projects, we have provided details of some of the key funding opportunities available to rural communities and sources of local advice. In February we will be focusing on funding at the ward forums, where several of the organisations below will be coming to speak.

LEADER is a major programme of European and Scottish Government funding to support development for rural communities. For general information about the LEADER programme, click on this link:

Contact details for the two programmes relevant to Marr are given below:

South Aberdeenshire LEADER: Alasdair Cunningham, South Aberdeenshire LEADER Coordinator

Tel: 01467 628 572

Cairngorms LEADER

Tel: 01479 870543


Big Lottery Fund

Key funder of community groups and projects that improve health, education and the environment

Helpline: 0300 123 7110

AVA (Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action)

Grantfinder service and additional advice:


Aberdeenshire Council

Grants for Voluntary Organisations, other advice and Aberdeenshire4Community


Buchan Community Toolbox

Practical advice for community groups in the form of easy to read, self-help information, including sources of funding.