by Marie Sharp Local Democracy Reporter

A basket weaving project and film-making studio are among 18 community initiatives to share nearly £200,000 of heritage funding.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has handed grants to projects which help promote coastal life as part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.

Haddington-based Kilcheran received £9,250 for a project to engage a wide range of people in the research and training of traditional basket weaving.

The money will help fund a feasibility study and business plan with the potential of providing sustainable livelihoods which could rejuvenate coastal communities where fishing has declined, as well as address plastic waste in the oceans.

And production firm Room 8 Studio received £4,988 for its Mobile Coast project, based at North Berwick, to encourage a deeper appreciation for the coastal environment and coastal heritage through immersive film-making.

The project will reach out to often excluded individuals and groups and will deliver five participatory film-making workshops to create at least five short films.

The Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund is a one-off competitive fund which launched in March to celebrate Scotland’s themed year.

In total, £194,349 was handed to 18 coastal community projects.

Amy Eastwood, head of grants at HES, said: “This funding will support a wide range of community outreach activities, as well as crucial repairs to historic maritime structures which not only encourages people to engage with our coastal and waterway heritage but helps to ensure it is protected for future generations.”

Alex Paterson, chief executive of HES, added: “The Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund was launched to empower communities to protect, promote and engage with Scotland’s coastal and waterway heritage, as well as adapting to the effects of current challenges such as climate change.

“I am confident that these projects will deliver significant benefits to local communities throughout Scotland and I look forward to seeing the progress unfold over the next few months.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) is a public service news agency : funded by the BBC, provided by the local news sector, and used by qualifying partners. Local Democracy Reporters cover top-tier local authorities and other public service organisations.