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Millions for disadvantaged communities
Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital investment, yesterday announced the new People and Communities Fund to promote and support community-led regeneration initiatives across Scotland, is open for applications.
The People and Communities Fund will invest in community anchor organisations that deliver local regeneration activity and promote change in our most disadvantaged communities. The fund will have particular focus on supporting initiatives to increase people's chances of entering employment, from progressing further in current work to helping break down any barriers people face when considering employment.
In addition to supporting employability, focus will also be on promoting future preventative spending, such as investing in initiatives that will help improve health now to prevent future illness and hardship.
Announcing the Fund, Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil said: “Last year, I launched Achieving a Sustainable Future, the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Strategy, which set out our approach to regenerating the most disadvantaged areas and strengthening local communities across Scotland.
“This Fund forms a key part the Strategy, and will provide at least £6 million per year for the next three years to support Registered Social Landlords and other community anchor organisations make a real difference in some of Scotland’s most deprived communities.
“I urge anyone eligible to apply to the People and Communities Fund, which will help communities to deliver the local changes that they want to see.”
Fiona Garven, from the Scottish Community Development Centre said:
“SCDC welcomes the focus of the People and Communities Fund on supporting community-led organisations to achieve the changes they want to see happen in their own communities. Community involvement must be integral to the design and delivery of local economic and social regeneration initiatives to ensure that any activities that take place within local areas accurately reflect local priorities and lead to real and tangible improvements for local people.
“We are encouraged that the funding programme is to be targeted at organisations that are rooted in their communities and which are best placed to encourage wider involvement in local regeneration activities thus ensuring longer term impact and sustainability.”
Jim Harvey, Director at Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations added:
"It's good that the launch of the People and Communities Fund re-affirms the Scottish Government's commitment to supporting community-led regeneration. The size of the Fund is limited, so investment will need to be targeted very carefully. We hope that the main beneficiaries will be Scotland's most disadvantaged communities, with funds channelled through organisations that are rooted in those communities and controlled by local residents. Community-controlled housing associations are a perfect example of this type of community anchor" organisation.
"We also hope the People and Communities Fund will lead to more actions by the Government to support community-led regeneration. Work on public service reform and the forthcoming Community Empowerment Bill are two obvious opportunities to make this more of a reality.”