Arbroath causes chosen for shortlist

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THE SHORTLIST of Arbroath good causes that could potentially be in line for a generous grant from a local businessman has been drawn up.

The ‘Giving back to the community’ campaign, founded by businessmen and brothers Valy and Shiraz Ossman, was launched by the Arbroath Herald in July.

The aim was to distribute £10,000 among good Arbroath causes, as decided by readers of the Arbroath Herald.

On Thursday, the judges panel, consisting of Valy, Graeme Dey MSP and Herald reporter Johnston Ralston met to sift through the many nominations sent in for local causes.

Eventually, after much deliberation, a shortlist of 10 Arbroath-based causes was drawn up, and over the next few weeks each cause will be given an opportunity to present their case to our readers.

The £10,000 will be split into three awards of £5,000, £3,000 and £2,000, which will be awarded on the basis of the number of votes the various causes receive.

Valy said: “As a gesture of goodwill to the community we want to donate £10,000 to the charities and good causes that are based in Arbroath.

“Arbroath and the people here have always supported us and now we want to give something back to the community.”

There were a great number of nominations received, covering a wide spectrum of Arbroath charities, organisations and causes.

Valy said: “There was a very good range of causes and I’m delighted with the number of people who put letters in.

“It was tough choosing the 10 finalists, and we have to apologise to the ones who didn’t make the list.

“Now it’s up to the people of the town to vote for the causes they feel are the most deserving.”

Valy and Shiraz are currently developing a luxury apartment complex called the Quayside Marina at the site of the now demolished Fisherman’s Association at the harbour.

Along with their company VMS Properties, the brothers have big plans for the town. Valy explained: “I’m committed to a couple of big projects in Arbroath and I will be here for the next year.

“I want to see a lot more done in the town and I’m going to try to get things happening here, particularly with the High Street, and right now I’m speaking to a few people about that.”

MSP for South Angus Graeme Dey, who is also on the judges’ panel, was happy to lend his expertise to the campaign.

He said: “I was delighted to be involved in putting together the short list which readers of the Herald will now be asked to select from.

“I think this is a very generous and commendable initiative on the part of Valy.

“And it has certainly attracted nominations for a wide range of good causes in the town.”

The 10 nominated causes, in no particular order, are: League of Friends of Arbroath Infirmary and Little Cairnie Hospital; CAFE Project; Arbroath Skate Park Project; Royal Burgh of Arbroath Community Council Fireworks Sub-committee; the Furniture Recycling Project; the Bruce Road Community Flat; Art Moves; Showcase the Street; Help for Abandoned Animals; and Mike’s Bikes.

From next week the Arbroath Herald will begin exploring the various causes to allow readers to make an informed choice.

Votes will be collected in a number of ways. Voters can write to ‘Giving back to the community’, Arbroath Herald, 21 Market Place, Arbroath DD11 1HR. Or, email either arbroath.herald@jnscotland.co.uk or johnston.ralston@jnscotland.co.uk.

You can vote via Twitter by tweeting @heraldjohnston or

@Arbroath_Herald.

And finally, there will be a form in the Arbroath Herald office at 21 Market Place for people to declare their nomination.