COMMUNITY groups in Largs and Millport can apply for thousands of pounds to help beat Scotland's deadly drug culture.

Around £60k in grants is available to community projects which can help to aid recovery from substance addiction and prevent drug-related death.

Individual grants of between £8,000 to £10,000 are on offer.

It is part of a new scheme organised by North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drugs Partnership - with local people having the final say on who will receive the funding.

A forum to discuss the distribution of funds will be held as part of a public consultation at The Living Room in Aitken Street on February 7 from 1pm to 3pm.

The event was announced at the North Ayrshire summit on drugs related deaths, which was organised after a motion by Councillor Louise McPhater to declare a 'drugs death emergency' was passed by North Ayrshire Council in September.

The region has experienced an unprecedented rise, with 38 confirmed drug related deaths recorded in 2018. The number of is expected to be higher again for 2019.

Last year we reported that there were hundreds of drug users in Largs in a front page exclusive story revealing the extent of the problem locally.

Funding allocations will be announced on April 18 at Ardrossan Civic Hall.

Councillor McPhater, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We hope that this exercise in Largs will bring communities together and start conversations on what else can be done to help prevent drug-related deaths.

“Each and every death caused by drugs is a tragedy, with the impact felt deeply by the families who have lost a loved one. There are many charities, projects and community organisations out there doing fantastic work, and this funding could go a long way to helping them to reach more people and provide hope.

“We all have a part to play in preventing drug deaths, and it’s time to come together as communities to help fight this.”

Application forms for the participatory budgeting event are available by email from, or visit and click on ‘Get Involved’ to find out if your project meets the application criteria and to apply online.

The deadline for applications is at midnight on March 22.