£10m Scotland Loves Local fund launched

£10m Scotland Loves Local fund launched

Tom Arthur MSP

Larger construction projects could be in line to benefit from a new £10 million multi-year fund which aims to help transform towns and neighbourhoods across Scotland.

The Scotland Loves Local Fund aims to encourage people to think local first, and support businesses and enterprises in their community. The fund will provide match funding of between £5,000 and £25,000 for projects run by groups like town centre partnerships, chambers of commerce or community and charity trusts.

Administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership it aims to bring new, suitable, creative projects and activity to towns and neighbourhoods – helping build local wealth and increase footfall and activity, while supporting local enterprise partnerships. Eligible projects could include things like community shops, marketing and digital schemes, or enabling larger construction projects delivery. 

Community wealth minister Tom Arthur said: “To support Scotland’s towns and neighbourhoods recover from the pandemic we are launching a new £10 million Scotland Loves Local Fund. This will provide 50% match funding for local projects between £5,000 and £25,000. Whether it be funding for small-scale improvements or adaptations, climate or active travel programmes, home delivery digital schemes, pop up shops and markets, or the direct funding or expansion of Scotland Loves Local loyalty card schemes – communities will be able to decide how best to improve their local area.

“This 100 day Scottish Government commitment reinforces our determination to support all our communities as they recover from the pandemic and will help strengthen the vital support being provided through the Scotland Loves Local marketing campaign and loyalty card scheme.”

Scotland’s Towns Partnership chief officer Phil Prentice said: “Over the coming years, this significant commitment from the Scottish Government will make a real difference - empowering communities to take action that will make their areas fairer, greener and more successful. We are delighted to be working with ministers to deliver this.

“This funding will unlock the great potential of our towns and neighbourhoods, allowing them not just to recover from the impact of Covid-19, but to create a stronger, more sustainable future which has localism at its heart. I would encourage interested organisations across Scotland to get their applications in.”

Director of Milngavie Business Improvement District and business owner Wendy Ross added: “The Scotland Loves Local campaign was a massive help to Milngavie, especially at the peak of the pandemic when non-essential retail businesses were forced to close. Using the digital experience of our business improvement district place manager and his network of collaborators, the Loves Local funding was invested to build many e-commerce websites very quickly so we could continue to trade online, with click and collect and deliveries.

“This was a critical help for local businesses and really opened our eyes to aspects of the digital world that we knew little about. Using the Loves Local messaging and excellent #ThinkLocalFirst campaign, we used social media and milngavie.co.uk to reach local people. That really struck home and continues to do so.”

Applications for funding open today and will close at 17:00 on October 1. Funding for projects worth between £5,000 and £25,000 will come from the £2m committed to the Scotland Loves Local Fund for this financial year.

Around 100 projects are likely to receive funding this year, with a further call for applications next year. Funding for projects in areas with a higher level of deprivation may be prioritised.

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