Scottish government invites applications for £18.9m Aspiring Communities Fund

Community bodies and third sector organisations can apply for funds to develop long-term local solutions to poverty

Scottish parliament
Scottish parliament

The Scottish government is inviting third sector and community organisations to apply for a share of its £18.9m Aspiring Communities Fund, which is aimed at supporting deprived areas in Scotland.

The first round of funding closes on 7 April, but further tranches of funding will be available until the end of December 2018.

The fund is designed to enable community bodies and third sector organisations to develop and deliver long-term local solutions that address local priorities and needs, increase active inclusion and build on the assets of local communities to reduce poverty and to enable inclusive growth, according to the Scottish government.

Funding will be made available in two stages: stage one will comprise grants of up to £50,000 to support local partnership working and enhance the capacity or capability of local organisations across a six-month period, in preparation for stage two, when grants of between £50,000 to £250,000 for organisations or consortia that offer community-led solutions to local problems or deal with hard-to-reach groups in the community.

In a statement announcing the fund, the Scottish government said: "Successful projects will put communities first by involving local people in the process and support the aims of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan to change deep-seated, multi-generational deprivation, poverty and inequalities.

"Through this fund we will explore partnership approaches between statutory bodies and local communities with a shared interest in exploring new and sustainable ways of working to improve local outcomes."

Eligible applicants include community organisations, such as community anchor and third sector organisations, which promote or improve the interests of communities that experience inequalities of outcome as a result of social or economic disadvantage.

Grants will contribute to direct staff costs and indirect costs associated with delivering the relevant activity.

All the activity paid for by the fund must take place in Scotland, the guidance document says.

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