BARRHEAD’S only community-run arts group is facing a fight for survival.

For decades, people of all ages have been able to make new friends and express their creative skills by attending the Barrhead Artists.

However, dwindling membership and a lack of funds are now threatening the group’s existence.

Organisers have applied for a grant through the Grassroots Giving scheme, organised by Skipton Building Society, in a bid to secure a brighter future for the group.

To be successful, Barrhead Artists will have to secure enough votes in an online poll to see off applications from other community organisations.

And it is hoped that Barrhead News readers will play their part by logging onto the website to register their vote.

Long-time member Moira Winton, who has been part of the group for 23 years, said it is vital to secure the funding.

She said: “We weren’t able to have an exhibition last year. In years gone by, we would have a big exhibition running over four weeks. Then it was cut down to two weeks.

“The existing members are getting old now, that’s the thing. I’m 78 and disabled but the group really helps me.

“If you’re stressed out, it’s good because you’re painting and not thinking of other things.”

Members of the Barrhead Artists have been meeting up to create and paint together since 1993.

Founded in line with the principles of the town’s first-ever community arts organisation, formed in 1907, the modern-day equivalent aims to promote the enjoyment of drawing and painting for all.

However, a hike in registration fees to accommodate art demonstrations and exhibitions at its Auchenback Resource Centre (ARC) base has seen the voluntary group’s membership reduce from more than 30 to just 16.

Group secretary Margaret Lockyer decided to apply for a Grassroots Giving grant after one of the members read about the scheme in the Barrhead News.

The club’s only other realistic hope of survival appears to be a renaissance of membership.

Moira added: “If we could get some more people in, that would be really great.”

If the group were to be awarded the building society grant, organisers say the money would be put towards open evenings to encourage others to join and broadening its range of demonstrators and speakers to “stimulate new ideas”.

Since 1993, the club has held 22 exhibitions, artwork from which has travelled as far America, Australia and Greece.

The age of current members ranges from teenagers to those who are in their 80s.

Those under the age of 16 are welcome to attend the group’s weekly session at ARC in the company of an adult.

Members gather at the Aurs Drive venue each Thursday, between 6.30pm and 9pm, from September to June.

Everyone is welcome to join, irrespective of their artistic abilities.

Voting for the Skipton Building Society Grassroots Giving scheme closes on Friday, October 13.

To back the Barrhead Artists, click here.