SUPPORT and funding is being made available in South Carrick through the programme What If...Girvan.

What if...Girvan is a social enterprise programme, aiming to help local people set up enterprises that make a positive difference in the area. 

It has opened for its second round of applications since it launched in 2016 and the programme is already supporting five local people to develop their ideas, which include an indoor farmers market, art workshops for young people and an import coffee business.

What if...Girvan is inviting local people to come up with ideas that could benefit the area by responding to calls to action, celebrating the local heritage, producing and consuming locally and getting people active and healthy. 

Successful applicants get access to a programme of support to develop their ideas, as well as seed funding.

Pearl McGibbon from Barrhill, applied last year with a long-held idea to set up and run a weekly, indoors farmers market in Girvan. 

Having produced a range of jams and chutneys as well as Harris Tweed goods for many years, Pearl realised that a regular farmers market would be a great opportunity to showcase the great produce and crafts that the area has to offer.

She said: “The support I have received through the programme has given me the tools and confidence to get my idea off the ground. 

“I have always felt that the area would really benefit from a weekly market and the response from local producers and consumers has been overwhelmingly positive so far, which is very encouraging.”

Karen McGregor, chief executive of Firstport, said: “We are delighted to see people like Pearl seeing their hard work come to fruition. 

“She is an active member of the community, and has years of experience as a producer and market trader. We can’t think of anyone more qualified or prepared to run the market.

“Pearl is a good example of how local people, with the right support in place, can make great ideas a reality whilst playing a part in addressing the needs of the area. We would encourage anyone harbouring an idea to get in touch or attend one of our upcoming events.”

Applications for What if...Girvan are open between Monday, April 3 and Monday, May 29.