Friday, 14 October 2011

Latest FET News October 2011

Hello all - I must first of all apologise for the lack of input from us here at FET over the summer months - It's a super busy time and it was truly difficult to find the opportunity to write for this Blog. I will do better in future!

With that said, I wanted to catch you all up on whats been happening here at FET;

Firstly, I would like to thank all the participants and guests of the "Aliens Amongst Us" Non native invasive species Expo day for making it a fantastic and memorable occasion. It was a great chance for me to network with all the groups and some of the key players from the likes of SNH and SEPA. The organisers foolishly asked me to do a seminar, and so my poor audiences had to listen to me ranting on for a good 40 minutes, but I think no major harm was done. FET was pleased to partially sponsor the event, and we hope that similar Expos will be held in Falkirk area in the future. A number of other councils sent representatives to find out what we are up to, and thats got to be a good thing!

 A special thanks goes out to Communities Along the Carron for putting the Event togeather, and to Falkirk Council for co-hosting and co-funding the event.

Next, there is a need to share FET's current situation. We have, in the past been in a position to make grants of up to £50,000 each, and in some cases we took on sole funding responsibility, or at least the lions share. Recently the board has decided that we will require all future applications to show a minimum of 50% match funding.  The bottom line is that we will be looking favourably at projects that use the FET allocated funds to lever in other funders. Whilst FET still is financially strong, we are not exempt from the current financial climate. New guidance will be issued as soon as possible.

 As always, if you want to bring forward an application, please talk to me first. Contact details can be found  to the right of this blog, or on our website.

I mentioned above a "High level of spend in the last couple of years". Expanding on that, we have in fact had 2 record years back to back! Financial Year 2009 - 10 saw allocations of over £550,000 main grants over a total of 15 projects. The total value of all funding for the projects (ie all the funding for all the projects) is about £1.1million. But wait for it - The last Financial Year racked up almost £700,000 in direct FET allocations, over 21 projects with a total value of around £4.2 Million (There were some really big ones this last year). Interestingly we also had a record number of successful applications from local community groups, as opposed to the big environmental charities. I believe this to be the greatest success of all, as it show Falkirk to be a centre of excellence for community driven environmental activities.

As much as I'd love to take credit for these successes, it's not down to me at all . It was in fact YOU LOT that did the hard work of putting togeather so many really great projects. Well Done to all involved - you know who you are!!

Finally I welcome our new volunteer, Fiona, who is going to be assisting at the FET office in publicity and administration tasks. Fiona is a local Environmental activist who finds herself with a little time on her hands.

Thats all for now - Keep those applications and project ideas coming!

All the Best for now

Art Berg
Development Manager
Falkirk Environment Trust