FIVE community groups have been handed a welcome windfall from Renfrewshire Council’s Community Empowerment Fund.

The biggest award, for £10,000, goes to the Friends of Howwood Park group, which will use the cash to carry out feasibility work on a revamp of its pavilion.

There is also a £9,650 grant for the Spateston Tenants and Residents Association to develop a business plan, in partnership with Klas Care, for a community hub at the former Spateston Nursery.

An award of £9,625 goes to national disability organisation Values into Action Scotland to create a business case for a new headquarters at the old Morton Nursery site, in Mill Place, Linwood.

Meanwhile, Erskine Music and Media will bank £9,450 to investigate the development of an activity hub at Erskine Sports Centre.

And the final award, for £8,500, goes to local charity Finding Your Feet to carry out a feasibility study into the creation of a hub which would give it a permanent home in Renfrewshire.

Lochwinnoch woman Corinne Hutton, founder of Finding Your Feet, which supports families affected by amputation or limb absence through a range of sporting initiatives and social inclusion projects, said: “The feasibility study is the first step towards a project we believe could be truly groundbreaking for the third sector in the area.

“Our goal is to have a charity hub where Finding Your Feet and the amputees we support can gather, as well as providing space to other local charities who are committed to helping the community.

“The fact that Renfrewshire Council are backing the idea in its initial stages is extremely encouraging.”

The £1.5milllion fund empowers local organisations to take on community assets and funds the creation of business plans, as well as the initial investment to ensure buildings are fit for purpose.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire’s communities, housing and planning policy board, said: “It’s great to see so many local organisations applying successfully to the Community Empowerment Fund and looking to take control of buildings in the local area.

“We want to empower our communities wherever we can and this fund gives groups the financial support they need to create business plans, with the aim of taking over and then managing an asset.”