Keith Royal British Legion successful in securing the top grant from Tesco Bags of Help from the November/December 2017 vote

Tesco celebrated funding 10,000 projects throughout the UK this month through their Bags of Help grants, and Tesco Keith have donated over £72,000 to organisations in Keith and surrounding areas meaning that they have funded 18 local projects. The most recent beneficiaries are Keith Royal British Legion, Keith Primary and Friends of Newmill Primary, with the Legion coming top.

Keith Royal British Legion have been awarded the top sum of £4000 following the November and December 2017 vote for the Bags of Help campaign at Tesco Keith. They will use this money to assist with the restoration of Keith War Memorial. Upon completion of the restoration works they would like to offer talks to schools, clubs and anyone else who would be interested in learning more about the history of the memorial.

In second place, receiving £2000, were Keith Primary. They will use the money to develop their playground and garden so that they can create a positive playtime by sparking the children’s imaginations, fostering creativity and enhancing teamwork.

Friends of Newmill Primary were also awarded £1000. This money will be used towards a shed for the playground and a mud kitchen for their courtyard in order to make their outdoor space a more stimulating and active place for children

Don’t forgot to continue to vote for Kerbs skate park, Craigellachie Primary school and Keith Football Club who are the current Bags of Help participants. Voting ends 28th February 2018.

Country Quines pay tribute to Railway Club founder

In tribute to Jimmy Bayne, The Railway Club organised for Country Quines, a trio of young and talented traditional musicians to play at the club on December 29th.

Jimmy Bayne, who sadly passed away aged 94, was a very loyal and dear friend who founded the Railway Club many years ago.

Country Quines performed amazingly in his honour and provided toe tapping, knee knocking and thigh slapping music for all. They will be returning to The Railway Club on 1st January 2018 (early evening) to perform again so why not pop in and see some talented musicians.

Pop Up Shop Availability

Are you looking to promote your product or service in Keith?  If so, there’s still availability in the Pop Up Shop for January and the first three weeks in February.  Please get in contact if you are interested in making a booking.

Amy Papiransky

Congratulations to Amy Papiransky from Keith.  She has reached the final of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2018.

New Editor for InKeith website and Facebook page

I would like to take this opportunity to formally introduce myself as the new Editor for the InKeith website and Facebook page. I am delighted to have been offered this position and look forward to promoting Keith and the surrounding area. Should anyone like to share any stories, events, businesses, groups etc then please let me know. Also, if anyone would like to book the pop up shop please get in touch. Many thanks, Jamie McIntosh

New year and new optimism for revitalising Keith town centre

The new year sees work starting on a prominent Keith building that has been lying empty for a number of years.

A grant of £142,000 from the Keith Conservation and Regeneration Scheme (CARS) has allowed the owner of the former Greig’s drapers and properties in Mid Street and Reidhaven Square to begin renovations.

The building is owned by Newmill builder Barry Fettes who has pledged to begin the major upgrade now that the grant and other approvals are in place.

His plans will transform the building into two retail units, four flats, four houses and an additional four houses which will be built in the back garden.

The news has been widely welcomed in the town as community leaders have long been concerned about the deteriorating state of the premises, while fearing that boarded up premises at the top of the shopping street was sending out a negative image of the town centre.

The grant of £142,000 is the biggest single grant to be awarded by Keith CARS so far, according to Ross McCleary, project officer.

For more details on the scheme and how to apply, visit

The Christmas shopping rush may be over, but if you are looking for new opportunities in 2015, then here’s something that might be right up your street.

How would you like the chance to let a prime town centre retail unit for free?

A Pop Up Shop in Mid Street available on a short term basis for people who wish to see what it’s like to run a shop, raise the profile of their business and sell their wares.

The concept is helping inject a different dynamic to Mid Street’s retail mix and so far there have been crafts, jewellery, cards, footwear, media, information services and photography businesses among the tenants.

There are opportunities for others to use the facility and to have help promote their use of the Pop Up Shop through its website and and Facebook links.

Who knows, it could be a stepping stone towards entering the world of retail for some businesses, or provide the chance to meet customers face-to-face and gain valuable feedback.

For full details, please contact Ross McCleary on 01343 563549 or email

Happy birthday to us!

It’s one year today since was launched – and we’d like to say a huge thank you to the whole community for the support you’ve given us.

From firms adding their business details to our directory to members of the public promoting their events in our what’s on section, you’ve all helped build into a one-stop shop for all things related to Keith and Strathisla.

We feel we’ve made good headway in our first year. There are now 125 business entries, details of almost 100 events have been posted in our guide to forthcoming events and we have an awesome 1300 plus likers on Facebook.

We’ve had a range of good news stories to report on, such as the opening of The Gallery, the launch of the Keith Kilt and Textile Centre in new premises, the major upgrade of the Old Green School which is now home to Stagestars Scotland and our quirky campaign to bring people called Keith to the town they share a name with.

Rest assured we won’t be resting on our laurels.

The New Year sees the launch of a new promotional drive aimed at helping to raise the profile of some of the area’s current commercial opportunities.

This rich mix – from retail premises to business units, workshops to a residential development opportunity – will be promoted through a paid-for feature in a leading business magazine.

There are other ideas are in the pipeline, too, aimed at continuing to market Keith-Strathisla as a destination to live, work, rest, play and invest in.

If you’d like to be part of our work, or have any bright ideas for our future direction, we’d love to hear from you.

Simply get in touch at




Windfalls from Windfarm

A TOTAL of 10 groups and projects have been awarded grants totalling over £30,000 in the recent funding round for Hill of Towie Wind Farm located between Drummuir and Mulben in Moray.

The fund was set up by RES, the operator of the 21-turbine Hill of Towie Wind Farm, following its completion in June 2012.

The Community Benefit Fund is open to applications from groups and projects which benefit the communities in Mulben, Drummuir, and Keith. Local charity REAP supports a panel of local community representatives and residents who make the decisions on funding applications.

The following grants were awarded:

  • Newmill Renewables CIC £3,000 – towards the cost of installing solar panels on the village hall.
  • Boharm WRI Mulben £200 – running costs.
  • Keith and Dufftown Railway Association £5,738.53 – to rebuild the platform at Towiemore Station.
  • Mulben Picnic Committee £3,000 – to fund the annual fireworks display.
  • Botriphnie Primary Parent Council £950 – for the St Fumac Scarf Project.
  • Sunshine Developmental Playgroup £600 – running costs and swimming session.
  • Keith Community Radio £200 – running costs.
  • Keith Community Council £5,000 – new Christmas lights for Keith.
  • KeRBS £6,317 – towards new equipment in Keith skate park.
  • The Loft Youth Project £5,764.48 – to fund the refurbishment of the cafe.

Sharon Duncan, Project Manager Loft Youth Project, commented: “The Loft Youth Project Keith has provided a safe and fun environment for young people from Keith and rural areas since 2000. Sadly, after severe weather caused major water damage, the project had to close its doors for ten weeks. To turn a negative into positive, we applied to the Hill of Towie Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund to take the opportunity to refurbish the cafe bar. It was in need of upgrading, and doing work now means the project won’t have to close again in future. The cafe bar will give training experience to young people, as well as enhancing the venue. Success with our application means we can re-open with a new and up-to-date cafebar that can cater for a variety of settings and events. We are delighted to have received the grant and work is progressing at top speed.”

Elizabeth Runcie, Co-chair, Sunshine Developmental Playgroup, commented: “The Hill of Towie Wind Farm Community Benefit Grant is great news for Sunshine Developmental Playgroup and we are delighted to receive it. The grant will be used to fund a swimming session for children with developmental needs and their families, so they can receive support and build confidence about going swimming themselves in future. It will also be used to purchase some new equipment and toys to help keep Sunshine a healthy, friendly and stimulating environment.”

Miss Gillian Findlay, Head teacher of Botriphnie, commented: “Having invested a great deal of time and effort into designing and producing the scarves for the St Fumac Scarf Project, the money received allowed us to use a film maker to work with all the children to make an advert for You Tube which has helped us to market the scarves. The money was also beneficial in allowing us to pay for professional printing of information cards designed by the children to attach to the scarves.”

Rod Lovie, Director Newmill Renewables, commented: “Newmill Renewables are very grateful to Hill of Towie Wind Farm Fund for the grant towards our solar panel project. The funding will allow our project to go ahead and help the village hall in Newmill to reduce its carbon footprint. This is another step in having a variety of renewable energy solutions at the hall to make our community buildings more sustainable.”

Stewart Cree, Keith Community Council Lights Committee Chairman, commented: “The Hill of Towie Wind Farm Community Fund has granted £5,000 to ensure that the town of Keith has a sparkling Christmas. Planning of the Keith Christmas Lights is co-ordinated by a sub-committee of Keith Community Council, with volunteers working hard throughout the year to ensure that the town has a display to brighten up the darkest days of winter. This is an extremely generous amount of money which will go a long way in funding our £15,000 plus Christmas lights project. This donation would be appreciated at any time, but especially so this year when we are investing in a major upgrading of our town centre lights display. This will include 15 new cross street lights going from lane to lane on Mid Street. We are looking forward to our new lights show being lit up for all to see, with the switch on of the display taking place at 4pm on Saturday, November 29, as part of the annual Keith Christmas Extravaganza.”

Commenting on the application process, Catherine Sinclair, REAP Projects Administrator said: “It is inspiring to see the amount of work carried out in our local communities, and very satisfying to know that a grant from the Hill of Towie Community Benefit Fund can make it happen. The application process is straightforward. Forms can be handed in any time and support is available from the REAP office if needed. If you’ve never applied before, or need any help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would love to hear from you.”

The next deadline for the fund is 27th March 2015 and application forms can be downloaded from the REAP website


People power needed to charge forward with new plans

A leading Moray regeneration group is calling on new thoughts and ideas to add to the melting pot as it prepares to map out its priorities for the year ahead.

At its annual meeting on 29th October, Keith and Strathisla Regeneration Partnership (KSRP) will be reviewing its past year’s work with some pride, having had a number of successful projects under its belt.

Probably the most significant was last November’s launch of the In Keith promotional campaign seeking to bring business, visitors and investment to Keith-Strathisla through marketing activities and the website.

KSRP has also been closely connected with the successful bid that has seen Keith become Scotland’s first Scots Toun, as well as the Incredible Edible community planting event held at the Bandstand Gardens, which saw flower beds filled with fruit, vegetable and herb plants for the public to freely pick throughout the growing season.

KSRP won’t just be looking back on its recent glories, as it will also have its gaze firmly set on the future and ways in which the partnership can continue to build on what’s already being achieved.

Chair Valery Dickson said: “We feel we’ve achieved so much since the launch of our In Keith work and we want to keep the momentum flowing.

“It’s always good to have fresh ideas as that gives everyone a renewed vigour and impetus with which to press forward with.

“That’s why we are encouraging people to come along and find out more about KSRP, and hopefully get involved too.

“KSRP is for anyone who lives and works in Keith-Strathisla. The thoughts and views of all our residents and business people are important so come along and tell us how you think Keith can become a better place to work, rest or play.”

The annual general meeting takes place at the Ugie House Hotel at 7pm on Wednesday, 29th October. All are welcome.