Scottish Government
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Funding for rural communities

Community-led projects to get £3 million funding boost.

More than 180 projects across rural Scotland will receive grants ranging from £100,000 to several hundred pounds, from the Rural & Island Communities Ideas into Action (RICIA) fund.

The fund encourages and supports not-for-profit community groups with innovative approaches to community-led local development, including work towards net zero and just transition goals, tackling rural poverty and supporting rural communities through the cost of living crisis.

Supported projects include:

  • building of mountain bike trails to bring in new visitors and provide sports opportunities to the local community
  • opening up of a community hall as a ‘warm space’ over the winter months and providing suppers to alleviate rising costs
  • purchase of educational equipment by a community centre to benefit the mental health of children, and
  • installation of solar thermal panels at a community hub to help manage electricity costs.

The funding is being delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government and Inspiring Scotland.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“We are working to ensure local communities are empowered to tackle local challenges.

“This investment comes at a critical time for our rural and island communities, who are disproportionately impacted by the cost of living crisis compared to the rest of the country.

“I wish all the successful community groups well as they now look to take forward these projects and make a positive difference to their local areas.”

Inspiring Scotland CEO Celia Tennant said:

“We’re delighted to continue to support the Scottish Government to deliver the Rural and Islands Communities Ideas into Action Fund. 

“We know local, grassroots groups are best placed to respond to the needs and opportunities most important to their communities.  We look forward to working alongside successful applicants and will support them to make meaningful change in their local area.”


List of recipients.

The Rural & Island Communities Ideas into Action (RICIA) fund forms tranche 2 of the £11.6 million invested in Community Led Local Development in 2022/23. RICIA projects will complete by 31 March 2023.

Earlier this year Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon approved a hybrid approach to deliver this year’s £11.6m Rural Community Led Fund. This approach saw the majority of the funding directed to the LEADER Local Action Groups (£7.6m), with a second tranche (£4m) to be delivered via two routes; 

  • a £1m funding top up to accelerate cooperative projects between the Local Action Groups and new external partners. 
  • a £3m ‘Rural Communities Ideas into Action’ fund to be delivered directly to community groups via Inspiring Scotland with input from Local Action Groups. 
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