YOUNG people at Girvan Academy are set to benefit from a new horticultural and rural skills initiative worth more than £24,000.

Not only will they learn to grow their own fruit and veg, they will develop skills which could be of use when they leave school.

Funding of £24,175 has been invested in the scheme by the Prince’s Trust and DYW with youngsters set to learn practical skills and gain confidence through communications and team working.

The funding has also been used to set up a bike repair hub at the school, a nail art studio and the young people will also become barista’s serving coffee and other hot drinks.

Sheree Armstrong (16) from S6 said: “I have been involved in some local landscaping projects already but wanted to learn more about planting.

“We have already planted some trees and grown fruit and vegetables — it’s good working together and deciding what else we can grow.”

Calum Strachan (17) also from S6 said: “I am looking to get into farming so this is a really good project. I think the course will help me when I leave school as people will see I have experience and can work well with others.”

Elaine Harrigan, Head Teacher at Girvan Academy said: “The young people, staff and partners are so enthusiastic about these initiatives and they are making a big difference.

"We can see the confidence in those taking part and they get our young people thinking about possible career paths.”

Councillor William Grant, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "Girvan Academy is leading the way in Prince’s Trust and DYW projects which prepare young people for life beyond school.

“We need to do all we can to prepare young people for the jobs market and Girvan Academy is covering a lot of important sectors which could easily become gateways to employment."

Other schools in South Ayrshire are also set to benefit as similar schemes are rolled out in Kyle Academy and Carrick Academy.

Similar schemes already running at Prestwick Academy and Newton Primary are set for a second year of funding in recognition of their success.