Community groups across the north and Moray are benefiting from a £40 million share of the Supporting Communities Fund to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dozens of voluntary and community groups across the region have been awarded grants ranging from £5,000 to £156,000.
They are being distributed by development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise who are overseeing the area’s share of Scottish Government’s £350 million support package.
It includes an initial £10 million investment that will be shared-out to community organisations already playing an active role in providing vital local services.
A further allocation of £10 million has been approved to support the second phase of the fund.
HIE has already approved 129 grants worth £2.68 million for community organisations located from Argyll to Shetland and from the Outer Hebrides to Moray.
Buckie Community Council has secured £31,381 which it will use to purchase more educational activity packs for school children.
This grant will also benefit Buckie Kindness Group in purchasing meal ingredients, support Findochty and District Community Council with its food packages and help Buckie Area Forum provide IT equipment.
And the cash will help Fishermen’s Hall and Arradoul WRI Hall cover their costs as they struggle without income.
Buckie Community Council chairman Kevin McKay said: “The money is really important during these times and we are really grateful about it.”
Other groups in the region that have benefited are the Forres Area Community Trust (£48,382), Lossiemouth Community Development Trust (£21,500), Elgin Youth Development (£20,000) and Dufftown Community Council, which received £7,605.
Meanwhile, in the Highlands, Brora District Action Group received £31,150 which will go towards supporting the village.
In This Together – a non-profit making charity which provides support and guidance to people in Inverness and Nairn – was awarded £156,000.
And the Dornoch Firth Group was given £47,788, which will go a long way in supporting their variety of initiatives, such as their foodbank.
Outreach worker Charles Minall added: ” The money will benefit us in many ways which is crucial so we can keep on supporting people during these extremely tough times.”
Director of communities and place with HIE, Douglas Cowan, said: “Distributing funding through these anchor organisations gives local people the power to make the choices that are right for their communities and ensures the support goes to help those who need it the most.”