Community and third sector projects that try innovative ways to tackle poverty and improve people’s lives can now apply for a share of £29 million funding, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
The SNP Government will direct £18.9 million into a new Aspiring Communities Fund to help organisations find new, long lasting community led solutions to poverty, by increasing economic activity or enhancing services to meet local needs.
The £9.7 million Growing the Social Economy Programme will enable the third sector to try new ideas and approaches by collaborating with research organisations or supporting people to improve their skills. Funding of between £30,000 and £250,000 is available and the programme is now open to applications.
The £29 million funding over the next two years supports the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, published last October. £12 million of the total funding comes from the European Social Fund.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“We are doing everything possible to create a more equal Scotland, and our Fairer Scotland Action Plan features 50 concrete actions to tackle poverty and inequality. This funding of £29 million will support communities and the third sector in developing new ways to help people overcome disadvantage.
“Over the next two years, the investment in these two Funds will deliver positive and innovative approaches to improve people’s lives through boosting skills or delivering new services to meet community needs - and crucially, giving people power to take charge and make changes in their own communities.
“Almost half of this funding comes from the European Social Fund which promotes inclusive growth and supports those who are disadvantaged - and the best way to continue that support beyond 2020 is by maintaining Scotland's relationship with Europe.”
Growing the Social Economy includes the Social Economy Growth Fund and the Social Innovation Fund. Further information and guidance on how to apply can be viewed the respective links. Please note that the closing date for both is on 17 February at 5pm.