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Grant boost for Moray music project

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Ben Hendry

A music project aimed at creating a thriving folk scene in a Moray village is among dozens of community efforts to be boosted by a recent round of funding grants.

Professional musician Mhairi Marwick learned her trade in Fochabers, and earlier this year launched a scheme to liven up its nightlife with regular concerts.

The 24-year-old plays venues across the country, and hopes the fledgling Arc Sessions folk club will transform the village into a hotbed for fans of traditional tunes.

Her aspirations have now received a £2,500 boost as part of the Money for Moray budget grant scheme.

Miss Marwick said she hoped to use the cash to attract some of the UK’s top acts to the area.

She said: “We began this at the end of March, and it’s grown already since then.

“Last month, we had the band Rura play at Inchberry Hall and that sold out, so it’s going amazingly well.

“But with the funding we want to bring some bigger acts up this way, as well as to cover our costs for hiring venues and equipment.”

Miss Marwick said positive reports of the shows had spread through word of mouth, and that musician friends in Glasgow were now contacting her asking about the prospect of visiting Fochabers.

The Money for Moray programme was launched in April, to split £120,000 donated by the council and Scottish Government between local groups.

During a first meeting in May, a £60,000 sum was shared between 17 collectives.

A second gathering was recently staged, during which other worthy causes secured funding for a range of projects.

The second £60,000 was shared between a range of initiatives.

Dufftown’s J’s Pad received £5,000 to create play areas for disabled children, the Speymouth Hall Association was granted £4,300 to upgrade the venue, and the Aberlour Community Association was pledged £2,500 to continue refurbishing the village’s former railway station building.

Inchberry and District Community Association received £5,000 to buy new picnic tables, and the Craigellachie Village Council will revamp their tennis court after also being awarded £5,000.

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